Dirt Bike Promotions press release:
Former Yamaha Australian Off-Road Champion (AORC), AJ Roberts, stormed through the rain today to take his first victory of the year at round three of the AORC held near Blayney (NSW).
Roberts, of the GHR Honda Off-Road Team, beat Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha’s Jarrod Bewley by about six-seconds to take the Outright and Championship E2 wins.
The 26-year-old from Bribie Island (Queensland) won the championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and finished second last year to now-Husqvarna-pilot, Chris Hollis.
Roberts was sixth in the ‘09 championship point’s race coming into round three. His ride today bumped him up to third, one-point behind Bewley (on 60-points) and nine-points behind leader, Stefan Merriman, who has 68-points after today.
“I’m happy, you know, it’s just coming together, we’re getting there with the bike, I’m getting really comfortable on it,” Roberts said.
“I smashed the first four tests of the day today and just sort of settled in for a groove to just bring it home.
“I was pretty nervous at the same time, I had one crash in test six… I just had to calm down and just bring it home, basically.”
For full series and round three results, video interviews and pics, go to www.dirtbikepromotions.com.au
Roberts said today’s 13-minute special test track (which championship riders rode seven times) was the most technical he had seen in several years in the AORC.
Conditions were far from easy today, with challenging, long tracks and wind, rain and chilly temperatures testing the more than 150 riders.
Bewley came within sniffing distance of today’s win, gaining on Roberts in the last three heats.
“I started out a little bit slow this morning, but I ended up figuring out how to ride this pretty technical track to come through with a second, so I’m pretty happy,” Bewley said.
“You had to just flow and I got a good flow up and came through with the goods… I had a good one at the [Australian 4-Day Enduro] and I’m just trying to carry that momentum threw.
“I felt good today, so hopefully tomorrow I pick it up and go a bit better and get that extra spot.”
Merriman, who is only just back on the bike after suffering a broken shoulder, finished fourth Outright and in E2.
MSC Kawasaki’s Toby Price was also on pace today, taking third Outright, 31-seconds behind Bewley and 0.4-seconds ahead of Merriman. Price is fourth in the championship with 55-points.
Chris Hollis had a crash in one of the heats today and finished fifth Outright, followed by Motorex KTM teammates, Ben Grabham (sixth) and Ben Kearney (seventh).
Hollis is now tied with Ben Grabham for fifth in the championship (on 52-points). Kearney is tied with Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha’s Kirk Hutton for seventh, with 37-points.
Kearney was the first 250cc 4-Stroke rider in the top-10 Outright today and won Championship E1 over Hutton (who came ninth Outright) and MSC Kawasaki’s Josh Green (10th Outright).
Kearney gained enough E1 class points today to move ahead of Hutton for the class lead.
In Championship E3, KTM rider Geoff Braico leads over Brad Williscroft and is ninth in the Championship point’s.
Championship E2 rider, Peter Boyle, rounds out the Outright Top-10 in the series point’s race (and finished eighth Outright today).
In Championship Veteran’s, Orange rider Stuart Bennett leads the charge, 15-points ahead of Garry Dukes.
Geoff Ballard also has a 15-point lead in his class: Championship Master’s.
Fellow Yamaha rider, Alison Parker, is ahead by three points in Championship Women’s after winning the first two rounds. Young Jemma Wilson won the class today by nearly a minute and is second in the championship.
In Expert Outright, BMW rider Luke Tomlinson is ahead of Jesse Jenkins by four points. Tomlinson leads Expert E2/3 – Jenkins is in top spot in Expert E1.
Queenslander Matthew Sprenger leads Clubman Outright by three points over Dylan Rose. Clubman E2/3 is lead by Thomas Clark.
Another cane toad is ahead in Clubman Veterans: Wayne Winston has a huge 31-point lead over Troy Partridge.
Fastest of the Juniors is Yamaha’s Ben Burrell, who leads Junior Lites 15-years and Junior Outright by nine-points over fellow Yamaha rider, Tom McCormack.
Alex Stephenson is current number one in Junior Lites 13 to 14-years, while Nic Tomlinson leads Junior 9 to 11-years, Mitch Kellner (Junior 12 to 13-years) and Liam Clover (Junior 14 to 15-years).
The 2009 AORC is a 10-round series held over five weekends, with one round on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Both rounds this weekend will be ran in in sprint format (several laps of the bush/motocross track racing against the clock) as conditions would not allow for a cross-country (mass-start) race to be held.
Round four of the AORC will be held tomorrow at Hobby’s Yards (near Blayney, NSW). Rounds five and six: Murray Bridge (SA) on June 27 and 28. Rounds seven and eight: QLD on August 15 and 16. Rounds nine and 10: Young (NSW) on September 12 and 13.
The championships boasts classes for every level of rider, from Juniors older than 9-years to Clubman, Women, Veterans, Masters, Experts and championship-level racers.
The AORC are fantastic for spectators, with nail-biting action and the chance to get up close and personal with the stars of Australian enduro racing.
Gates at Hobby’s Yards tomorrow will open at 8.30am Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $6.00 Adult & $2.00 Child.
To enter or for more information please visit www.dirtbikepromotions.com.au, contact Dirt Bike Promotions on 02 63624437 or 0438721024 or email [email protected]
AORC Round 3 Outright Top-10
1. AJ Roberts
2. Jarrod Bewley
3. Toby Price
4. Stefan Merriman
5. Chris Hollis
6. Ben Grabham
7. Ben Kearney
8. Peter Boyle
9. Kirk Hutton
10. Josh Green
AORC Championship Top-10 (after round three)
1. Stefan Merriman 68-points
2. Jarrod Bewley 60
3. AJ Roberts 59
4. Toby Price 55
5. Chris Hollis 52
6. Ben Grabham 52
7. Ben Kearney 37
8. Kirk Hutton 37
9. Geoff Braico 34
10. Peter Boyle 29