News 28 Feb 2019

World champion Phillips makes AORC return official

Tasmanian to challenge multiple categories aboard KTM machinery.

Image: Supplied.

Four-time EnduroGP world champion Matthew Phillips has confirmed he’ll return to the Yamaha bLU cRU Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) this season, which is set to kick off on 9-10 March at Toowoomba in Queensland.

Overcoming a head injury that ended his 2018 campaign on the world stage, the well-credentialed Tasmanian will pilot KTM machinery, starting in the E1 division before sampling different offerings from the Austrian manufacturer in different categories throughout the season, making for a unique effort in his return year.

“Last year I suffered a head injury which put me off the bike for about six months,” Phillips explained. “I was in a negative headspace after that and decided to head home. As I started to recover I decided to help out a young and upcoming rider, Kyron Bacon, which got me back into the love of riding.

“My plan is to compete in all 11 rounds of the AORC 2019 season, beginning in rounds one and two in the E1 class. As the season moves on I’ll change things up a bit by moving across the senior classes with different bikes. The main thinking is that I want to maintain the love for the sport and by changing things up each round will definitely help that.”

Phillips previously contested the world championship with KTM Factory Racing in 2014 and 2015, picking up the E3 title in his first year with the squad. He last competed in the AORC full-time back in 2012. It’s understood Phillips will support and mentor youthful talent Kyron Bacon in the AORC EJ category alongside his own campaign.