Yamaha Racing's Roaring Start to AORC

The 2023 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) season starter proved to be a good one for Yamaha supported riders and teams, with a handful of class wins and podiums to take away from a gruelling weekend of racing.

The sandy plains of Mendooran, near Dubbo played host to the opening round of the AORC and the weather played its part with some lead up rain making conditions pristine for the first event of the year. With a record numbers entered for the round, the AORC is off to a flying start for 2023.

Danielle Macdonald, Wil Dennett, Davey Gear, Ollie Gear and Taylor Thompson all won their respective classes over the weekend while Jess Gardiner, Cooper Sheidow and Seth Burchell all stood on the podium.

To view the JGR Yamaha bLU cRU round review: https://youtu.be/BX4UAKo7wBY

JGR Yamaha
With Jeremy Carpentier sidelined with a wrist injury, the JGR Yamaha team were down to two in an all women team with Jess Gardiner and junior gun, Danielle Macdonald. Danielle MacDonald continued her dominance of the Junior Girls winning both days comfortably and adapting well to the four-stroke after stepping off her YZ125 and the end of 2022.

Jess Gardiner finished the weekend in second place in the Women’s division with a couple of second place finishes behind fellow Yamaha mounted Taylor Thompson (Excite Motorcycles). Gardiner isn’t a fan of the sandy conditions Mendooran provides but did her best to battle through the weekend.

Yamaha bLU cRU Support
The newly formed bLU cRU Yamaha support team debuted in impressive fashion with Wil Dennett (Lismore Motorcycles) not only taking both round wins in the Under 19 class (EJ), he was also deep inside the top 10 Outright and showing he has made plenty of progress over the off season. Moving to the 450cc machine, the increase in power suits the larger frames Dennett and he simply excelled in the sandy conditions on both days.

Cooper Sheidow (WSB Distributors) also made a good start to his year with a third place finish on both days in the super competitive E1 (250cc) class. Facing off against last years winner, Kyron Bacon, Sheidow raced well all weekend and to land on the podium shows he and the Yamaha are gelling well and the sign of better things to come.

Last years runner up in the J4 class (15 years) Jett Yarnold (Super Moto) has made the leap into senior racing and straight into the Under 19 class. He made a good fist of things with a solid seventh place finish on day one and improved one place for sixth on Sunday.

GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing
Harley Hutton, Marcus Nowland and Seth Burchell flew the YJR flag for the first weekend of AORC. Hutton and Nowland are off road regulars and both have moved up a division for 2023 while Burchell is a motocross rider on weekend bush excursion.

Hutton got his year off to a solid start with a couple of top 5 results in the J2 (12-15 years 85cc0 class. Being one of the youngest on the division after winning J1 last year, Hutton is adapting to the biker wheeled bike and coming to terms with the increased level of competition so a top five result is more than respectable for his first attempt.

Marcus Nowland made the last minute call to race the YZ125 in the J3 class and was confident coming into the opening weekend. Unfortunately, a heavy fall on day one rattled him and finished up with 10th on Saturday and a slight improvement to eighth on Sunday.

Burchell acquitted himself well in unfamiliar surroundings and made improvements all weekend. He moved from a top 12 finish on day one to claim second on day two in the Under 19 class.

The Gear brothers out of South Australia again performed well with Ollie gear taking the win in J3 (13-14 years) on both days as older brother Davey did likewise in the J4 (15 years) group.   

AORC Results

  • AORC Results

    AORC Standings After Round Two
    E1- 250cc
    1st Kyron Bacon- 50 (Yamaha)

    2nd Korey McMahon – 44
    3rd Cooper Sheidow – 40 (Yamaha)

    E2 – 450cc
    1st Josh Green – 50 (Yamaha)

    2nd Jye Dickson – 44
    3rd Jonte Reynders – 38

    EW - Women
    1st Taylor Thompson – 50 (Yamaha)
    2nd Jess Gardiner – 44 (Yamaha)

    3rd Emelie Karlsson – 40

    EJ - Under 19
    1st Wil Dennett – 50 (Yamaha)

    2nd Luke Chellas – 38
    3rd Billy Hargy – 38

    J4 – 15 years
    1st Davey Gear – 50 (Yamaha)

    2nd Oliver Paterno – 44
    3rd Levi Stephens – 38

    J3 – 13/14 years
    1st Ollie Gear – 50 (Yamaha)
    2nd Dylan McDonald – 42 (Yamaha)

    3rd Bradley Rayner – 40

    EJ – Junior Girls
    1st Danielle McDonald – 50 (Yamaha)

    2nd Mia Tongue – 42
    3rd Madi Simpson - 42