KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Toby Price has officially put the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship beyond reach in both the outright and E2 championship after clinching his sixth round win for the season.
Price didn’t get the best of starts, but the 27-year old kept his cool bounce back and take the lead by the closing hour of the race.
“I didn’t get the best start” explained Price. “I just worked my way to front and finally got the lead. The KTM team did a fantastic job in the pit stop, we were in and out pretty quick.
Four outright championships are now alongside Price’s name along with three E2 class championships.
For Price, the victory is made sweeter considering his injuries last year. “It’s great to get the championship back in the Off-Road.” said Price. “It’s been a long year, and a lot of races going on. I can’t thank the whole team enough, the sponsors and everyone involved! Where I was 16 months ago, to be back winning races and winning an Off-Road title again is a unreal feeling!”
Running in Price’s wake was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Beau Ralston. Ralston finally broke the duck to get himself on the podium which is marks his first podium finish since switching from motocross to the world of enduro.
Ralston did lead the early stages of the race and in the end finished 4.917sec down the road. “Yeah I’m pretty happy” said Ralston. “I managed to get a good start which helped. Toby charged his way through the pack, and by mid race it was a battle of who made the least amount of mistakes.” He’s confident of going one better in Round 12.
“I’m hoping to get the win, I’m going to give it a good crack” added Ralston.
Rounding the top three in the outright and the E2 was Daniel Milner (CDR Yamaha).
A solid fourth position went to Daniel Sanders who was piloting his all-new KTM 300 EXC, along with fourth outright, was also first position in the Under 19’s Championship which has given him enough points to lock up the title.
“I just kept a solid pace to hold fourth position” said Sanders who was quite surprised about how good his fitness was. “I’m so stoked coming across the line and having my friends and family supporting me on my first national championship. After years of racing this is a massive relief!”
Rounding out the top five and fourth in the E2 class was Husqvarna’s Lachlan Stanford. Stanford was just ahead of his teammate Glenn Kearney who took the win the E3 class which saw him secure the 2014 E3 Championship.
In seventh place outright was Tom McCormack (Active8 Yamalube Yamaha) who took out the E1 class and the championship. It wasn’t all smooth sailing but, McCormack did eat the dirt on the opening lap, but recovered well to finish inside the top ten. “I can’t thank the team enough for making this possible” said McCormack.
Second to McCormack in the E1 class was Peter Boyle (KTM Enduro Racing Team) who finished eighth outright, while Geoff Braico (Husaberg) and Broc Grabham rounded out the top ten respectfully.
Finishing just outside the top ten was Josh Green. The Active8 Yamalube Yamaha rider never seemed to be on song during the day.
In the Women’s championship, it was all about Jess Gardiner (Balllard’s Motorex Off-Road Team). The 21-superstar rolled to victory which gave her a third AORC crown. Gardiner completed six laps with in 1:58:57.895. “I’m stoked” beamed Gardiner. “I’ve had a great year, so to finish it off today is really good. I’m sorry for Tayla [Jones] for getting the DNF today, she was riding really well. It sure does take a lot of pressure off me for tomorrow before I fly out to France, which was definitely on my mind out there during the first two laps.”
Running second to Gardiner was Yamaha’s Emelie Karlsson who completely missed the start after she couldn’t get her bike started. Karlsson, like many other riders had a few dramas dealing with the amount of dust during the first few laps, “I couldn’t see anything and came off because of that” said Karlsson. Another young gun, Sophie Coldiutt completed the podium in third.
The up-and-downs of motorsport racing was proven when Tayla Jones was forced to retire due to bike dramas.
Taking out the Masters class was Derek Grundy ahead of Adrian Fitzgerald with Brett Steel in third. This year’s champion who locked it up at Kyogle, Trent Lean was fourth.
Wil Ruprecht snared the J4 win ahead of three Victorians that included Jai Wedlock, Lyndon Snodgrass and Stuart Holt.
Dean De Fazio tasted glory in the J3 class. A massive turn up for the books was Mason Semmens taking the win the J2 class ahead of Mitchell Brierley with his brother Joshua in third.
Milner’s day but Price takes Championship for 2014
The curtain has been drawn on this year’s Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship which saw CDR-Yamaha’s Daniel Milner taking out the grand finale at Heathcote in Victoria.
With Milner taking out the outright and E2 win yesterday it means both the Victorian and KTM Enduro Team’s Toby Price have both won six rounds a piece in season 2014.
With Milner’s wins it slotted the 2013 champion into second position in the outright championship, but he had to settle for third in the E2 class, just two points behind Josh Green (Active8 Yamalube Yamaha).
Just 12.731 seconds was the difference between Milner and Price, who tried his hardest to keep Milner honest but was unable to so. “Today went fairly well” said Price who really didn’t need to push that hard. “I didn’t have to ride over the top or anything, seeing we sealed the deal in round 11.
“Today was a bit of fun, we got to cruise along and have a bit of fun. In saying that, there wasn’t much cruising, Daniel was on the pace all day.”
Collecting his second piece of silverware for the weekend was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Beau Ralston.
“It was a tough day today, the track chopped up a lot and it was hard to keep consistent” explained Ralston. “I’m happy with my result and really enjoying learning each race as they come. A big thanks to the whole team” added the former motocross superstar.
Another fourth position went to the newly crowned Transmoto 19 & Under champion, Daniel Sanders. It is without doubt that round 11 and 12 have been Sanders’s strongest rounds in the 2014 championship.
With two fourth places, Sanders managed to finish sixth outright in the championship, and the end result in the 19 & Under Championship saw him winning the series with 297-points to Broc Grabham’s 259.
Fifth outright went to Josh Green who is still struggling with injuries that he suffered from the A4DE. “Today was much better then yesterday” explained Green. “For me, still I’m struggling with injuries, but I did feel that I had a consistent day.”
Milner’s teammate, Chris Hollis was sixth and fifth in the E2. Hollis ended up fifth outright in the championship and dropped back to fourth in the E2 title race.
It was an unfortunate round for Husqvarna’s Lachlan Stanford who ended up seventh outright and sixth in the E2. Stanford, 23, had a goal of finishing in the top five for the round. “Today didn’t go to plan” said Stanford. “I was a bit disappointed on how I rode. I was riding smooth, but I just didn’t quite have the speed I needed. I’ll have a bit of a break now and get myself ready for the ISDE.”
Rounding out the top 10 was Broc Grabham, who finished second to Sanders in the Under-19, with the new E3 champion Glenn Kearney completing the top 10. Kearney did hit the deck pretty hard in the first part of the morning, but all in all the likeable New South Welshman was really pleased and wrapped to walk away with the E3 title under the belt.
“It’s been a really good year” said Kearney. “The only way it would have been better if I were to have won the outright championship. But to finish third behind Toby and Daniel in the outright, I’m pretty happy because they are both world class riders.”
Just missing out on the top 10 in the outright was the new E1 champion, Tom McCormack. McCormack was once again the victor of the E1 class which saw him winning a total of nine rounds. Finishing second in the E1 class, 26.179 seconds behind McCormack was Husqvarna’s Scott Keegan, while it was a remarkable ride from young Nic Tomlinson in third.
Peter Boyle (KTM Enduro Team) and Tom Kite were fourth and fifth.
26-year old Emelie Karlsson wrapped up the season by finishing on a high note, claiming the win in the Women’s class. The new champion for 2014, Jess Gardiner (Balllard’s Motorex Off-Road Team) finished second, with Tayla Jones taking the last step on the podium who was riding a borrowed KTM.
Karlsson’s win leaped frogged her into second position into the championship, finishing just one point ahead of Jones in the final standing.
Sophie Coldiutt and Elizabeth Lee were fourth and fifth respectfully.
Queenslander Derek Grundy took out the Masters division ahead of Trent Lean
and Ian Jenner. Kirk Hutton completed his season with a win in the Vets beating the 2014 champ Damian Smith (Husqvarna Enduro Team) who has bowed out from AORC racing after spending many years at the top of racing. South Australian hotshot Rowan Pumpa was third.
Kawasaki’s Lyndon Snodgrass did all he could to try and stop Wil Ruprecht’s charge towards to taking the J4 crown. The dynamic pair have been at each other for the whole year, so the script was written to plan, with just .284 seconds between Snodgrass and Ruprecht. The end result was just six points in Ruprecht’s favour.
Seth Muller was third in the overall standings, finishing thirty points behind Snodgrass. Victorian’s Stuart Holt was fourth ahead of fellow Victorian Jai Wedlock.
It was another masterful display from the 2014 J3 champion, Ben Kearns as he collected his eleventh round win. Kearns, who has simply been the runaway rider in the class dropped only one round which was in round elven.
Hunter Semmen and Dean De Fazio joined Kearns on the podium.
It was a home round win for Mason Semmens in the J2. Semmens’s finished 23.120 seconds ahead of this year’s champion, Joshua Brierley. Joshua’s brother Mitchell was third, finishing 14 points behind in the overall standings.
Top 10 Outright Round 12 Result:
Daniel Milner (E2)
Toby Price (E2)
Beau Ralston (E2)
Daniel Sanders (U19)
Josh Green (E2)
Chris Hollis (E2)
Lachlan Stanford (E2)
Riley Graham (E2)
Broc Grabham (U19)
Glenn Kearney (E3)
Top 10 Outright Championship:
Toby Price 260
Daniel Milner 218
Glenn Kearney 211
Josh Green 208
Chris Hollis 191
Daniel Sanders 165
Lachlan Stanford 162
Beau Ralston 156
Tom McCormack 150
Geoff Braico 131
Championship results available here.
Images and Story, Russell Colvin