With impeccable weather conditions today over 300 competitors entered the Murray Bridge gates for the kick off of Round 6 of the 2016 Yamaha Australian Off-Road championship, battling through tough conditions that the Murray Bridge terrain had to offer.
Today marked the half way point in the championship season and with six tests to get the job done, the seven senior classes went head to head to chase the top spot on the podium, competing on a grass, sprint format track.
KTM mounted Jack Simpson took off from the start line this morning, taking his confidence from yesterday’s class win to push his bike to the test. Simpson once again was able to launch his bike in front of second place Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Glenn Kearney to round out the podium with the Round 6, E1 win finishing with a 42:25.601 time.
Kearney (42:37.267) second, was followed close behind by Scott Keegan (43:03.744) who slipped just off the times from this mornings test to conclude on the third step of the podium.
It was a spectacle on track today as Round 5 winner, CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis went up against KTM Enduro Racing Team Rider Tye Simmonds to attempt to defend his winning streak from yesterday. However, KTM mounted Simmonds was unstoppable from the get go this morning taking the outright top spot on the time sheets and remained consistent through out the day. Simmonds was victorious taking the Round 6, E2 class win and the outright fastest time for the day with a 41:43.692, marking his AORC career best achievement to date.
Hollis putting in a strong fight after recovering from his crash in the last test yesterday, was only seconds behind Simmonds with a concluding time of 42:16.959. CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack joined both Simmonds and Hollis on the podium in third with a finishing time of 42:51.581.
After achieving his AORC career best result for the 2016 season the elated Simmonds spoke about topping the times and his struggles out on the grass track today.
“I am feeling really good after the results today. I knew as soon as we got to this type of event, where it was a bit more open with room to move I knew I was going to be where I should results wise,” Simmonds said.
“We had a ball this weekend, the tracks were good and this layout suits my riding style. It’s nice to be able to bring home the win for my team and myself.
“I am hoping to continue with these results and strive for the wins for the rest of the season.
“I think the hardest test today was the last two, knowing I had the lead, and just trying to keep it. I was more over the moon, normally I struggle in the first test and today I took the outright time this morning,” he concluded.
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Rider Lachlan Stanford was once again victorious claiming the Round 6 win in the E3 class for a second time this weekend. The Husqvarna mounted rider finished just under 30 seconds in front of second placed KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders, Stanford concluding the day with a 42:06.854 time.
Sanders battling an injury sustained in yesterday’s test, managed to redeem his times to finish in second with a 42:36.257 time, while Active8 Yamaha Yamalube’s Beau Ralston was challenging his times close behind Sanders with a finishing time of 42:41.554.
Transmoto 19 and Under
There was a change in the front runner today, as Nic Tomlinson managed to deliver on his KTM machine to knock Wil Ruprecht from the top spot closing the day with a 43:22.124 on the last test.
Wil Ruprecht challenged first place Tomlinson throughout the day however narrowly missed out on the top spot on the podium finishing in second with a 43:27.008 time, just seconds behind.
Third place in the Transmoto 19 and Under class was once again Fraser Higglett improving his time each test to round out the top three finishing podium positions.
Tomlison was glad to have another win under his belt after a few mistakes yesterday set him back in the times.
“I am feeling really good, today was a lot better day than yesterday, I made a lot of mistakes and lost a lot of time, so to be able to redeem myself and get back on the top step of the box is great,” said Tomlinson.
“I didn’t feel much pressure coming into today, I just knew I had to put my head down and do what I know I can do, I just tried to focus.
“For the next rounds I am going to concentrate on getting more time on the bike and try and get quicker and quicker,” Tomlinson concluded with a smile.
Rowan Pumpa carried over his form from yesterday and was presented with the Vets win at Round 6 of the Yamaha AORC. After battling through the dust and heat the Vets competitor finished with a time of 48:00.339.
Anthony Greene (48:52.749) and Leigh Bentley (48:53.833) placed second and third respectively today, all finishing within the same minute of each other.
Yamaha mounted Jemma Wilson (51:38.121) was in fine form today as she backed up her win from yesterday with another solid six tests to claim the women’s Round 6 win ahead of second place Jessica Gardiner.
With the Women’s class battling it out on the KTM track today the warm and dusty conditions proved tough however Gardiner put on another consistent performance joining Wilson on the podium with a concluding time of 51:41.296.
Sophie Coldicutt redeemed her times from yesterday to manoeuvre her machine around the tight track to round out the top three positions for the Womens’ with a concluding time of 54:23.398.
Wilson, was happy to claim yet another win and put more championship points on the board, speaking about the tough competition today battling Gardiner for the win.
“Yesterday was pretty cruisy pulling over 50 seconds from Jess (Gardiner) but I think today I went in too confident, but after Jess gained more pace towards my lead, from then the race was on,” she said.
“Today has been some crazy close racing only beating Jess by minute seconds in some of the tests, but I ended up getting the win only four seconds ahead.
“The close racing makes it more stressful, of course, but more interesting and it pushed us both along today,” Wilson concluded.
As another round concluded for the Masters class today it was Michael Widdison (53:42.394) who was unbeatable yet again capturing the Round 6 win ahead of second placed Adrian Fitzgerald in a hard-fought battle for the concluding time of 54:15.842.
Third placed was awarded to Stephen Price with a finishing time of 54:17.999 putting in an outstanding performance out on track to redeem his times and finish on the podium.
With the half way point of the championship season officially marked today, competitors will now enjoy a lengthy break before the season resumes at Hedly, Victoria on July 23-24.
Don’t miss out on all the action from Round 5 & 6, head to the AORC section of the MA website or like the AORC on Facebook. You can also follow @aorc_ on Instagram for pictures, videos and updates from the 2016 season.
Below are the top five results from each class
- Jack Simpson 42:25.601
- Glenn Kearney 42:37.267
- Scott Keegan 43:03.744
- Riley Graham 43:03.845
- Stefan Granquist 43:35.391
- Tye Simmonds 41:43.692
- Chris Hollis 42:16.959
- Tom McCormack 42:51.581
- Chris Davey 43:00.333
- Joshua Green 43:21.933
- Lachlan Stanford 42:06.854
- Daniel Sanders 42:36.257
- Beau Ralston 42:41.554
- Lyndon Snodgrass 43:42.933
- Tom Mason 44:36.844
Transmoto 19 and Under:
- Nic Tomlinson 43:22.124
- Wil Ruprecht 43:27.008
- Fraser Higlett 44:04.351
- Ben Kearns 45:10.714
- Andrew Wilksch 45:16.254
- Rowan Pumpa 48:00.339
- Anthony Greene 48:52.749
- Leigh Bentley 48:53.833
- Craig Wease 50:07.847
- Bjorn Osborne 50:15.727
- Jemma Wilson 51:38.121
- Jessica Gardiner 51:41.296
- Sophie Coldicutt 54:23.398
- Emilie Karlsson 55:39.102
- Tegan Hall 58:27.705
- Michael Widdison 53:42.394
- Adrian Fitzgerald 54:15.842
- Stephen Price 54:17.999
- Peter Schaper 55:08.596
- Dominic Burman 56:05.671
For more results from Round 6 of the Yamaha AORC today, head to the MyLaps website here.
Image – John Hamilton/Mad Dog Images