News 20 Feb 2018

AORC E1 champion Ruprecht steps up to E2 ranks

Active8 Yamalube Yamaha talent continues climb for 2018.

Image: John Pearson.

Reigning E1 title-holder of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) Wil Ruprecht will transition to E2 for the 2018 season.

Ruprecht won the Junior class championship in 2016 before repeating that feat last year upon moving to the E1 division with Active8 Yamalube Yamaha.

It’s now been confirmed that Ruprecht will ride a 450 in the E2 class for this year, marking another significant step in his career. And he’s confident that the step will be a successful one as part of Yamaha’s factory operation.

“There are a few different reasons for the change,” he explained. “It wasn’t a must, it was more of a give or take scenario and with a new rider joining the team it was the move to make. It would have been nice to go back-to-back on the 250, but it’s hard to say as I can’t read into the future whether another year on the 250 may have held me back.

“I’m enjoying my testing on the 450 and it’s showing that I have the pace to compete in the class. I think my style suits the 450 and once I’m big enough for the bike, I can then muscle it around a little bit more, but at this stage I’m feeling quite comfortable and when I’m in my groove I’m feeling at one with the bike. I feel there will be rounds we can take the win.”

And for Ruprecht, a podium in the championship is a realistic goal that he is striving to achieve, not ruling out a potential title charge either: “The AORC has some seriously talented riders and we are all putting in serious effort to give Active8 Yamaha Yamalube off-road team the best results.

“Realistically a podium in E2 and I’ll be striving for the win, whether I have the experience for an E2 title, who knows only time will tell. I will also be aspiring to get back over for International Six Day Enduro (ISDE) and to make amends for what happened last season.”

This year’s AORC season will commence at Gympie in Queensland on 10-11 March, marking the first of 11 championship rounds to be hosted for 2018.