News 17 Oct 2023

AORC rivals Green, Reynders at odds over track limits

AORC champion and A4DE winner sound-off over drama following Dungog.

Image: Foremost Media.

New Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) outright number one and defending E2 class champion Josh Green has indirectly called out class rival and this year’s Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) winner Jonte Reynders on social media, the pair appearing to be at odds over track limits within the series courses.

ShopYamaha Off-Road Racing mainstay Green, 33, clinched back-to-back E2 titles on the weekend at Dungog’s final rounds, in addition to being the highest-scoring rider outright for the first-ever time in his decorated national career.

However, video that has surfaced post-race has led to Green publicly bringing into question the integrity of the sport at the highest of levels locally, his post understood to be largely directed at Sherco-backed Reynders and alleged track-cutting in the example on display. The footage included Green, teammate Kyron Bacon and GasGas privateer Jye Dickson all navigating a section of the course in a specific route, while Reynders looked to go off-line on that occasion.

“I have been racing enduro since ’02 and, over the last 21 years, I have seen the good and the bad,” Green stated. “Unfortunately, this post is about the bad. I feel like the integrity of this sport is diminishing and so many people are turning a blind eye to the problems.

“Integrity is the one and only thing that allows this sport to continue with a professional front, without it this isn’t racing… not fairly anyway. AORC riders have lost the integrity of this sport! We walk tracks numerous times and tracks are usually well-bunted.

“This weekend’s race had no excuse for ‘poor bunting’ excuses, as it was double-bunted the whole way! We race laps of tests and, as riders, we know exactly where we are going because that is our job. Racing is heavily based on honesty and sticking to the intent of the course!

“Unfortunately, we are no longer in an honest racing industry, because this shit happens every race weekend! The lack of honest competition is appalling, with a field full of selfish opportunists who don’t see the damage they are causing to this sport. You aren’t riding smart, you’re riding selfishly.”

While a DNF during round seven at Keyneton proved costly in Reynders’ title chances, he was a key rival to Green in both the E2 and unofficial outright point-standings, winning multiple events throughout the season, in addition to his A4DE crown – won over Green by just half a second. In responding, Reynders denied any intention to cut the course intentionally and defended his integrity within the sport after achieving the outright/E2 double over the weekend.

“I would like to address the recent social media postings and accusations of track-cutting at the final round of the 2023 Australian Off-Road Championship,” commented Reynders. “First and foremost, I want to make it clear that I did not actively deviate from the course or attempt to gain an advantage in the alleged section of track. I respect the integrity of the sport and I am committed to competing fairly.

“It is important to note that the section of the track in question already had broken bunting down, which may have contributed to the confusion. I want to emphasise that through the consistency of my test times, it is apparent that no advantage was gained. I have always strived to compete within the rules and spirit of the sport and I firmly believe that my performance in the final round reflects that commitment.

“If there is an issue or dispute regarding my performance, I am more than willing to follow and cooperate with the correct procedures and protocols set by the governing body of the AORC. I must admit that I am extremely disappointed that, after a stellar year of racing and the successes we have achieved, this is the first time several media outlets have reached out for comment.

“I have dedicated myself to this sport and worked hard to achieve the success I have enjoyed so far. I hope that the true spirit of off-road racing and sportsmanship will prevail, and that this situation can be resolved in a fair and respectful manner. I appreciate the support of my team, sponsors, and fans, and I want to assure them that I will continue to uphold the highest standards of sportsmanship and fair play in all my future endeavours. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.”