News 11 Mar 2019

Milner addresses rider safety concerns in dust-filled AORC opener

Sunday's round two in Toowomba declared three tests in.

Image: Foremost Media.

KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Milner has addressed safety concerns alongside fellow riders that ultimately led to a shortened day of racing at Toowoomba’s second round of the Yamaha bLU cRU Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) yesterday.

With a severe lack of moisture, conditions were brutally dry for both Saturday and Sunday’s racing, prompting officials to release riders in 40-second intervals for round two, which saw the pro class take on a far less forgiving circuit than Saturday’s opener.

Milner, who topped the outright and E2 times on both days of racing, was one of a large selection of top riders and team managers to unite following the third test and approach officials with their thoughts on the conditions, expressing safety as a priority, resulting in Sunday’s proceedings being declared.

“I think it got to the point where it was too dangerous,” Milner told MotoOnline.com.au. “That’s when all of us riders came in and said the same thing – Chucky said ‘come on, let’s go down and talk to the officials and get them to sort it out’. We all went down there, had a chat, and put our thoughts out there.

“It’s us that are racing out there, not them, so that’s where they have to see it in our eyes and see what we’re dealing with. When you have that many riders saying the same thing, it speaks for itself. It’s one of those thing where you have to pull it up before someone gets seriously hurt.

“The only people that seem to have a problem with that were the ones who weren’t in the lead and were real close to getting the lead – if it was the other way around, they would definitely want it cancelled, that’s for sure. It’s a bit disappointing to see that, but it’s good no one got seriously hurt.”

The reigning AORC, ISDE, and A4DE champion described the circuit as one the toughest he’s ridden in recent years, explaining the high speeds and an extremely dry surface created a ‘scary’ encounter.

“It was really technical and a bit scary to be honest. There were a lot of downhills that were really fast with sketchy rocks – it was pretty much survival mode. Chucky and I both had a real big off in the last one just going for it – we weren’t doing anything stupid or anything, we just got caught out on a couple bumps.

“I think I went down a little earlier than he did – he just got into my dust and then had a big one. Condition wise, it’s probably the hardest track I’ve ridden in a long time. The ISDE has difficult tracks, but they seem to hold together a lot more and they’re a bit slower in spots, where as this was a lot faster.

“It was pretty scary, but I’m stoked to come away from the weekend unscathed and only taking a bit of bark off the arm – I got away with it pretty good.”

The Australian Off-Road Championship returns to action on 6-7 April in Dungog, New South Wales, for rounds three and four.

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