Former motocross champion Styke sweeps E1 class on debut.
It was a battle of the titans as the 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) commenced at Gympie, Queensland, on the weekend, with Daniel Milner and Daniel Sanders duking it out at the front.
Saturday’s opening round saw KTM Enduro Racing Team’s defending champion Milner edge Sanders for victory, before the latter turned the tables for a breakout Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team result.
Although the outright scores aren’t official championships, they do factor for bragging rights and it is shaping up to be a hard-fought year between the two. 2016 title-winner Sanders has returned home following an off year in EnduroGP.
The class results in Saturday’s round one saw Milner win E3 from Kane Hall (Yamaha) and Andrew Wilksch (Sherco), while on Sunday it was again Milner ahead of Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) – penalised five minutes the day prior for an unintentional off-track excursion – and Broc Grabham (Gas Gas).
In the talent-packed E2 division, Sanders was the class of the field on both days, topping Josh Green (Active8 Yamalube Yamaha) and last year’s E3 champion Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Racing Team) overall in rounds one and two.
It was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s former motocross champion Luke Styke who took out both rounds in the E1 ranks, from Jackson Simpson (KTM) on Saturday and Sunday. Third-place on Saturday was Nic Tomlinson (Yamaha), while class rookie Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) rebounded from a penalty in round one to take third on Sunday.
The AORC series will continue with rounds three and four to be held on 5-6 May at Hedley in Victoria, with the Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) scheduled for between 3-7 April in Cessnock, New South Wales.