News 26 Apr 2023

Consistent Wilksch goes 5-4 in KTM AORC debut

E2 contender builds across both days at Queensland Moto Park.

Image: Foremost Media.

In his Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) return from injury, Andy Wilksch notched 5-4 results across rounds three and four at Queensland Moto Park which marked his debut as a KTM-backed rider in the 2023 series.

Wilksch claimed the E3 AORC title last year with Simford Racing Husqvarna and switched to KTM to compete in E2 this season, with untimely knee and leg injuries forcing him to miss Mendooran’s opening rounds.

After just seven weeks to recover from a torn ACL and MCL along with a stress fracture to his right leg, Wilksch lined up at QMP and scored valuable points with two top-five results, building across each day as he now looks to get more seat time in preparation for what’s next.

“Ideally there would be a 12-week recovery to return from this injury, so there’s been a bit of a process getting that sped up in time for the weekend’s racing,” Wilksch explained. “I came into the weekend knowing I’d be a bit under-done as far as bike time goes, and I’ll admit yesterday was challenging, lacking confidence in my riding.

“I quickly adapted and felt I improved a lot in the second half of the day, but it was frustrating to get held up by slower riders in front of me. After today’s opening test the gap between riders was extended from 20 seconds to 25 seconds and that made a big difference – I was able to get in some good, clean runs and some real quality time on the KTM. Moving forward, the Australian Four-Day Enduro is on next month and that’s what my focus turns to now.”

Despite missing Mendooran, Wilksch is ninth in the E2 standings and 63 points down on leader Josh Green (ShopYamaha Off-Road Racing) ahead of rounds five and six at Edenhope, Victoria between 22-23 July.

Prior to the next stop on the 2023 AORC calendar, this year’s Australia Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) takes place in Harvey, Western Australia on 17-20 May.