Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
Perfect conditions greeted the riders for rounds eight and nine of the Australian Off Road Championship, held at Kingston in South Australia, with the Yamaha riders again prominent in the results.
The Yamalube Yamaha Active8 Team was bursting at the seams with a full rider line up and all in contention for class podiums as the championship enters the business end of the season.
Michael Driscoll continues to dominate proceedings in the EJ (Under19) division as he controlled both rounds with ease. But perhaps the most pleasing factor in Driscoll’s development is his climb up the Outright charts.
Driscoll won both days in his division and found himself in the top seven outright and ahead of many of the E1 (250cc) riders. His times in the special tests throughout the weekend were impressive as he knocks on the door of outright podium contention. He now carries a 35point lead into the final two rounds and is on track to retain his number 1 plate in the EJ class after his championship success in 2017.
“Weekend was good for me and I love riding in those conditions,” Driscoll begins. “The loamy and sandy conditions for a lot of the course was fun to ride and with a few trees, logs and rocks thrown in, it made for fun yet challenging riding.
“We still have two rounds to go and I would like to crack a top 5 in outright before the year is out. I feel like I’m riding better each time and my bike is great at the moment so doing that would be a great way to finish the year.”
It was a mixed weekend for Josh Green who was flat on Saturday after a fall early in the day but rebounded well to finish strongly on Sunday. Green claimed fourth in the E2 (450cc) class on Saturday and an uncharacteristic sixth outright after he fell heavily during one of the specials tests but he soldiered on for the rest of the day.
But after a good nights’ rest, Green was back up and firing on all cylinders on Sunday to bounce back to take second in class and third outright and leave Kingston with some confidence in his riding.
“I was struggling a bit on Saturday and wasn’t really feeling it but then I crashed pretty good and I definitely wasn’t feeling it after that,” Green explains. “But we still had a long way to go so I just did the best I could, given the circumstances.
“Sunday was much better and back to somewhere near where I think I belong. I felt better in general and rode with a lot more flow and aggression so that’s a positive way to finish the weekend and gives me a bit to build on for the final round.”
Wil Ruprecht has had a shocking run of injures during the 2018 season but for the first time this year, the New South Welshmen was able to get some consistency in his training and preparation leading up to the Kingston round and that showed in his results.
Ruprecht impressed on Saturday as he charged to a second in the E2 class and an outstanding third Outright, his best result this year.
On Sunday, he couldn’t quite match those results but still ended up a very respectable fourth in class and sixth outright in a confidence boosting weekend.
“It was nice to finally get some results that I can be happy with and proud of. “It’s been such a frustrating year dealing with my injuries and not being able to ride and train at 100% but it was good to just get a good base of training in and then race well on the weekend.
“Hopefully, it’s the start of things to come and I can race at 100% from now one,” Ruprecht said.
Luke Styke continues to lead the E1 (250cc) class despite some issues over the weekend. Styke won the division on Saturday but was then the subject of some controversy on Sunday when he was penalised 5 minutes for an on-course incident. The matter is currently before the jury and will take some time before an official announcement is made.
The final rounds of the AORC take place at Omeu in Victoria on October 6-7.