Challenging conditions for racing at Dungog

The Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-road Team (YMBOT) was in true form at Dungog NSW over the weekend for Round 3/4 of the Australian Off-road Championships (AORC). The team were well prepared for the true Enduro time card formatted event, which seen the senior riders cover approx. 7 hours of ride time!

Jeremy Carpentier tackled the course first from the team, piloting his WR450F around a grass track special test followed by single tracks for trial time and an enduro test to finish the loop. The conditions were perfect for the first two laps of racing, although the rain settled in from about 11am for the remainder of the day making the course very slippery.

Round 3 started early with riders ready for a big day. Jeremy mixed it up with the top boys all weekend to finish a rewarding 10th place outright and 5th in the heated E2 category. Jeremy stated, "I’m much happier with my riding this weekend, my fitness was perfect as I had time to build it back up after the first two rounds. I still have speed to pick up and I’m really looking forward to a little gap now to work on to be ready for the next rounds. My bike didn’t miss a beat all day and it was a lot of fun riding with everyone before the rain came down."

Jess Gardiner continued to excel in the Women’s category as she took 6 out of 8 test wins for round 3 and the overall win by 42 seconds over Emelie Karlsson. This was Gardiner's 3rd consecutive win this season on board her WR250F. Jess was smart when the rain came in from her years of experience and made sure to keep the bike upright and make a clean run to the finish line. Jess finished 48th overall (with all the guys/girls entered in the event).

Jess said, "I had an overall good day of racing, I had a few hiccups and some silly moments in the tests but managed to keep it all together and score another valuable win in the Ladies category. It was really fun the first two laps until the rain settled in and things turned interesting really quick."

Danielle McDonald is the little rocket of the team after undergoing challenging conditions from the word go, as the juniors started later in the day with the rain already settled in. Danielle and Ariana Collins battled all day in the mud and slippery conditions to complete 5 special tests. Danielle clinched her 3rd consecutive win in the junior girls class by 4.8 seconds over nearest competitor Ariana! We are starting to see a great pattern here between Jess and Danielle recording some great history. The team could not be more proud! 

Danielle commented, "I was really nervous going into this weekend with the Enduro format as I got lost in it last year. The team really helped me to understand and I stayed on my time card all day. I wasn’t sure how I did in the special tests because it was really slippery and we had a delay in receiving our times but really happy to discover that I won the day!"

Unfortunately due to heavy rainfall overnight, Round 4 that should of taken place on Sunday was cancelled. The Dungog MCC did an exceptional job hosting another brilliant Enduro time carded event, despite the weather conditions where they had to take in consideration the riders safety and respect for the land owners and forestry.

The next event for the Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-road Team will be the King of MX Qualifier round at Wagga Wagga in 2 weeks. The next AORC round will be at Nowra on the 18th/19th of May.

Keep up to date via the athletes and team social media pages 
Photo Credit: Troy Pears