News 18 Sep 2019

2019 AORC wrap-up

Yamaha MXstore Ballards Off-Road Team press release:

A stellar weekend for the Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team for the final rounds of the Australian Offroad Championship, located at Hedley, Victoria. With the typical Melbourne weather nearby the team were spoilt with perfect conditions to race in the dark sand tracks.

For Round 10 on Saturday the riders had a cross-country format, where Jess Gardiner raced for 2 hours on a 16km circuit and Jeremy Carpentier raced on the same circuit for 3 hours in the following race.

The start involves a dead engine start with all the riders lined up side by side; unfortunately Jess’ bike was delayed in starting and was dead last off the line with her two main competitors taking the lead together. The track was very difficult to pass on and Jess had arm pump building as she worked her way around everyone the first 2 laps before then catching up to both Emelie and Emma who were battling close.

Jess, Emelie and Emma were putting on a great show for the spectators all swapping and changing positions between the 3 of them for lap 3 and 4 of the race. Jess had a couple of crashes in the remainder 2 laps, which seen the top 2 slip away and Jess settled for 3rd place. While gaining valuable championship points Jess stated, “ I lost my mouth piece from my USWE early on in the race and I could really feel myself deteriorating as the race went on, my body just needed energy to keep pushing. I’m glad I could show my speed at the mid point in the race and really happy to get this tough cross-country finished and still holding a 23 point lead heading into the last round”.

Jeremy raced the torn up circuit directly after Jess’ race. Jeremy was off to a great jump on the start sitting in 6th position overall. As the race continued and the riders settled into there cross-country pace Jeremy sat in 8th outright for the majority of the race and brought it over the finish line! Jeremy said, “ Wow, that was definitely a tough race as the track become destroyed really fast in our race.

I felt good and really happy with how my WR450F with Promoto Suspension handled in the tough conditions”.
The final round a waited with a light down pour of rain overnight for perfect
track conditions and the racetracks were split into 2 different sprint tests for the riders. Both Jess and Jeremy raced on different tracks.

Jess went out on a mission to prove a point and won every single special test except the final test where she had a small crash. Finishing the day in 1st overall and securing the Australian Women’s Offroad Championship title. Jess makes history becoming the first ever Australian Women to win 5x AORC Championship titles! Jess said, “ I am so overwhelmed with the huge amount of support and really excited to crack another piece of small history in the AORC paddock. I can’t thank all my sponsors enough for each large and small contribution that they do to make this all possible. The feeling of that ‘winning buzz’ never gets old and I’m already motivated for next season”.

Jeremy started off Sunday a little slow as the bodies were exhausted from the 3hour race the day before. He started to gel with the tracks a little late and was making up valuable seconds as the sprints went on, although he fell just shy off the podium in 4th place in the E2 category and rounded out 9th outright.
Jeremy wrapped up the 2019 AORC in 3rd place in the E2 class and 8th for the unofficial outright for the 2019 Australian Offroad Championship. Jeremy said, “ I learnt a lot this season and really liked my change into the E2 category, the bike really suits my riding style and I can’t thank everyone on board for making this possible and making my transition to Australia so welcoming”.

The team has not stopped there as they board a flight on Wednesday following the race to head overseas to both race in the final round of the World Enduro Championship in France on the 28th/29th September.