News 12 Sep 2009

AORC: Price ties Merriman for lead with one round remaining


Battle for the 2009 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) has hit fever pitch going into the final round tomorrow, with Toby Price now tied with four-time World Enduro Champion, Stefan Merriman.

Price, 22, of the MSC Kawasaki Team, took the round nine Outright and Championship E2 Class wins today – Merriman (Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha) came third.

It’s the closest battle ever in AORC racing history, with Merriman’s teammate, Jarrod Bewley, also in the running for Outright, sitting third (nine-points behind).

Tussle for the Championship E1 crown is just as close, with Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha’s Kirk Hutton now five-points behind Motorex KTM’s Ben Kearney.

Hutton gained two-points on Kearney after finishing second in the class today, Kearney came third. Husqvarna’s Chris Hollis, who switched to a 250cc bike at rounds seven and eight, won the class and finished fourth Outright.

In Championship E3, Brad ‘Wonka’ Williscroft (Motorex KTM) took the win today, ahead of class leader in the championship, Geoff Braico.

Braico finished second in the class.

Price, who won by seven-seconds, said he had had a “very good day”.

“My first two laps were really good, I got through with no troubles,” Price said.

“My third and fourth I had a couple offs and put a hole in my crank case, but other than that it was all pretty good and hopefully I’ll back it up again tomorrow.”

Hollis was also stoked with his performance.

“I started off a little bit slow… picked it up in the last one and went from seventh to fourth, so I’m happy with that,” he said.

Another rider who improved his Outright placing today was team manager and pro racer, Brad Williscroft, who finished ninth and won E3.

“It was supposed to be a cross-country today, but with the dust they made it a Sprint for the pro’s and experts and they joined both tracks together, so it was like a super sprint,” he said.

“The longer the lap the better it is for me, so I was a bit confident and I felt good in the practice lap.

“We’ve done a bit of suspension work during the week because we knew it was gonna be rocky, and it’s all paid off.”

Daniel Milner was victorious in Expert E2/3 and Expert Outright by two-minutes. Expert E1 was won by Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha’s Liam Robertson.

Championship Veteran’s was taken out by Gary Dukes, who beat series leader, Stuart Bennett.

Geoff Ballard won Championship Master’s and Jemma Wilson took out Championship Women’s.

Clubman Outright was won by Matthew Sprenger by more than five-minutes.

Junior Outright was claimed by Benjamin Burrell (Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha).

The deciding round of the 2009 AORC will be held at Young (NSW) on September 13th.

The AORC are fantastic for spectators, with nail-biting action and the chance to get up close and personal with the stars of Australian enduro racing.

Gates at Milgadara (on Moppity Road, 19km’s east of Young) tomorrow will open at 8.30am.

Admission is $6.00/Adult and $2.00/Child. For a map to the venue please visit

Yamaha AORC Top-10 Outright Round Nine
1. Toby Price Kawasaki E2
2. Jarrod Bewley Yamaha E2
3. Stefan Merriman Yamaha E2
4. Chris Hollis Husqvarna E1
5. Ben Grabham KTM E2
6. Kirk Hutton Yamaha E1
7. Peter Boyle Honda E2
8. Ben Kearney KTM E1
9. Brad Williscroft KTM E3
10. Josh Green Kawasaki E1

Yamaha AORC Top-10 Outright (after round nine, of 10)
1. Toby Price Points: 189
2. Stefan Merriman 189
3. Jarrod Bewley 180
4. Chris Hollis 145
5. Ben Kearney 132
6. Ben Grabham 128
7. Kirk Hutton 120
8. AJ Roberts 117
9. Peter Boyle 115
10. Geoff Braico 94