Riders and organisers alike are set for a challenging weekend of racing when the 2015 installment of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) gets underway in Kilkivan this weekend.
10 classes of racing will feature at the event, with riders and their bikes coming up against some of the toughest conditions that the Queensland terrain has to offer in the sprint format.
Kilkivan Clerk of the Course Frank Kraan said the three tracks set up for the event had altered somewhat as a result of the heavy rainfall from Cyclone Marcia last month, but was confident the modified tracks would still deliver an exciting brand of racing over the weekend.
“This is the first time Kilkivan has hosted an AORC round, so it is certainly exciting for everyone involved with the organisation of the event,” Kraan said.
“We have had a few issues with the weather over the last few weeks and that has forced us to change things up a bit.
“But all in all I believe we have come up with three tracks that are of an Australian Off-Road Championship round standard.
“I hope the riders have been training hard in preparation, because the tracks have been designed to test them.”
As in previous years, the Series will run alongside State Championship events, ensuring twelve rounds of fast-paced competition featuring a packed field of familiar faces, seasoned riders and brand new competitors.
Fresh off his amazing podium finish in the Dakar Rally, defending champion Toby Price will again be the man to beat across the series. The only man to win the AORC on four occasions will face stiff competition however from his Motorex KTM Off Road teammates in Daniel Sanders and Tye Simmonds.
Both Sanders and Simmonds have shown impressive glimpses of form throughout the 2015 Australian Enduro-X Nationals thus far, and together with Price, the Motorex KTM team looks set to be a frequent presence on the podium this season.
CDR Yamaha Off-Road rider Chris Hollis will be another contender for the title, but has had to overcome a disrupted preparation in the lead up to the AORC.
Hollis, a former AORC champion in 2011, injured his AC joint in Round 1 of the Australian Enduro-X Nationals in Brisbane, but it is expected to be fit enough to take his place at the starting line this weekend.
Strong challenges are also likely to come from the likes of dual Australian Four Day Enduro winner Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna Enduro Team), 2015 Australian Enduro-X Nationals runner-up Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha) and four of the top ten placegetters in 2014, Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Off Road Team), Tom McCormack (CDR Yamaha), Beau Ralston (Active8 Yamaha) and Geoff Braico (KTM Privateer).
After the opening rounds in Kilkivan, the 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship caravan will work its way down to Victoria, heading across to South Australia and back up to Queensland before finishing in New South Wales for the final two rounds.
Long-time partner Yamaha has once again swung its support behind the Championship, continuing on as official naming rights sponsor for another full season of Australia’s premier off-road competition.
To keep up to date with all the news from the 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, visit the AORC section of the Motorcycling Australia website, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship 2015 Calendar
- Rounds 1 & 2 – March 21-22, Kilkivan, QLD: Sprint, Sprint
- Rounds 3 & 4 – April 18-19, Hedley, VIC: Cross Country*, Sprint
- Rounds 5 & 6 – May 23-24, Karoonda, SA: Cross Country*, Sprint
- Rounds 7 & 8 – June 20-21, Aratula, QLD: Enduro, Enduro
- Rounds 9 & 10 – July 25-26, Kyogle, NSW: Cross Country*, Sprint
- Rounds 11 & 12 – August 15-16, Monkerai, NSW: Cross Country*, Sprint