Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road racer, Jess Gardiner has racked up here seventh Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), while Yamaha riders amassed a total of nine Australian class champions as the 2022 AORC drew to a close over the weekend.After some wild and woolly weather in the days’ prior, Wynyard in Tasmania turned on the postcard picture weekend for the final weekend of the AORC with championships on the line and history being made.
To view the Yamaha JGR Ballard’s bLU cRU round review: https://youtu.be/f_ybbYU_8_c
Jess Gardiner now has seven AORC championships to her name. Yes, seven! Gardiner clinched her seventh AORC championship at round 12 of this years’ series after another outstanding performance that now has her as the most winning female off road rider Australia has produced. Gardiner overcome a challenging start on Saturday where she was bogged in axle deep mud in one of the early special tests to recover for a second-place finish for the round and need only to score points on Sunday to clinch the crown.
But that’s not her way. Gardiner came out swinging and took another round victory to make it eight round wins from the ten contested and in turn, win another AORC title.
“The weekend was tough as the rain made things wet and rutted on both days, but I like that style of riding and enjoy the challenge that it brings. Not sure I enjoyed getting stuck in the mud, in fact, I was ready to give up as I couldn’t get my bike out, by on my last attempt, I was able to get it moving and get back into the race, but I lost around three minutes in just that section.
“From then on, everything went well, and the bike was perfect all weekend. I wanted to win the final round as that’s the best way to win a championship so it was good feeling to get it done and share it with Danielle who was also able to win her class for the day and the championship.
“Our team of sponsors are awesome and we couldn’t do it with out them. Yamaha, Gas Imports, Yamalube, Thor, Kincrome and a heap more all contribute to our little team and its awesome to work with such cool people,” Gardiner beams.
The team made it two championships out of three when Danielle McDonald won the Junior Girls class for the weekend and the series. McDonald entered the final round battling a knee injury sustained at the Australian Junior Motocross Championships the week before but was able to soldier on and take victory on her YZ125.
“It’s been a huge month with racing for my family, from being in Rockhampton last week and now in Wynyard in Tasmania this week. Going from motocross to off road but its all worth it now. To finish the year with both the round win and the championship is unreal and I can’t thank my whole family enough for the sacrifices they put in for me to go racing.
“Also thanks to Jess and Jeremy for their help and guidance again this year. It’s great to have someone in your corner who understands racing and that you can talk to them about things on and off the bike,” McDonald said.
Jeremy Carpentier finished the year strongly with a third-place finish at the final round. Carpentier wasn’t in championship contention as he missed several rounds due to injury, but the podium finish was good for his confidence and provided some motivation as we head towards 2023.
Over the course of the weekend, Yamaha teams and riders racked up a massive nine AORC championship victories. The ShopYamaha team claimed three with Outright, E1 and E2, the JGR Yamaha girls added another two in EW and JG, and then it was a bunch of Yamaha mounted junior riders that capped of a stunning year for the bLU cRU.
Harley Hutton took the win in J1 on his YZ85 small wheel. Marcus Nowland won the 85cc big wheel. Ollie gear claimed the 13-14 years division on his YZ125, while brother Davey Gear win the 15 years class on his YZ250F.
Hutton, the son of former AORC champion, Kirk, has improved considerably this year and was the dominant rider in his division. With a comfortable points gap coming into the final round, Hutton just needed to days of smart riding to get it done but elected to go all in and came out with victory on both days.
Marcus Nowland had to keep the pressure on as he was in a points battle as they headed into the final weekend. But for a young rider, Nowland was able to keep his composure all weekend despite the tough conditions to win his class.
And was there a prouder parents at the event than of Davey and Ollie Gear? Having two riders compete in national events is more than enough, but for both to win their respective classes in this year’s championship is a remarkable feat. Ollie had things under control for the most part and was in the box seat all weekend, while older brother Davey had to deal with a hard charging Jett Yarnold who came up with a wet sail, but ultimately fell two points shy as the end of the weekend.
“It was simply an amazing weekend for Yamaha at the final round of AORC and to capture nine national championships is a credit to the riders, teams and families involved,” begins Yamaha Motorsport Manager, Scott Bishop.
“I’m continually in awe of the sacrifices these families make to go racing and particularly would like to congratulate the riders and families who chose to purchase and race a Yamaha. We understand there are many options out there, but these riders wanted to be on a Yamaha and purchased their own bikes and parts to make it happen. We are humbled by that and sincerely congratulate them on an amazing season.
“Our teams again turned in professional and clinical performances and are well lead and managed by AJ and Jess. I thank both for their contribution to Yamaha’s results as well as the teams’ sponsors and partners who allow us to go racing at the level we do.
“I would also like to pass on out thanks to Matt, Michael, and the team at MA for putting together the AORC championship. After two years of interruption, it was so good to see everyone back at the events and people enjoying riding in our great country,” Bishop said.
EW - Women
1st Jess Gardiner (Yamaha JGR Ballards Off Road)
2nd Emelie Karlsson
3rd Taylor Thompson
JG – Junior Girls
1st Danielle McDonald (Yamaha JGR Ballards Off Road)
2nd Madi Simpson
3rd Jade Chellas
J1 – 9-11 years 85cc
1st Harley Hutton (Yamaha)
2nd Chase Weston
3rd Phoenix O’Brien
J2 – 12-15 years 85cc
1st Marcus Nowland (Yamaha)
2nd Mason Phillips
3rd Jesse Ryan
J3 – 13-14 years Lites
1st Ollie Gear (Yamaha)
2nd Levi Stephens
3rd Lachlan Metcalf
J4 – 15 years Lites
1st Davey Gear (Yamaha)
2nd Jett Yarnold (Yamaha)
3rd Eli Tripcony
1st Kyron Bacon (ShopYamaha Off Road Team)
2nd Korey McMahon
3rd Blake Hollis (ShopYamaha Off Road Team)
1st Josh Green (ShopYamaha Off Road Team)
2nd Fraser Higlett
3rd Travis Silk
1st Kyron Bacon (ShopYamaha Off Road Team)
2nd Andy Wilksch
3rd Josh Green