News 27 Jun 2009

Off-Road: Merriman wins on day one at Murray Bridge AORC

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Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha racer Stefan Merriman beat a 218-strong field today to take the Outright win of round five of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) held at Murray Bridge (SA).

Merriman, from Nelson’s Bay (NSW), had a shaky start to the day, but managed to charge up through the pack and post the fastest lap of the day on lap seven (of eight).

Today’s victory was the third this season for Merriman, who kicked off ’09 with dual wins at rounds one and two.

The four-time World Enduro Champion broke his shoulder six weeks out from rounds three and four – former AORC Champ, AJ Roberts won the third round and Merriman’s teammate, Jarrod Bewley, won the fourth.

Kawasaki rider Toby Price pulled an early lead this morning in the deep sand and ended up second Outright, 12-seconds off Merriman.

“I’m really happy with the win, but I didn’t think it was going to happen this morning, I was riding pretty rubbish really,” Merriman said.

“I was struggling, Toby was beating me by about 20-seconds on the first lap so I really had to knuckle down and find out what was wrong, why I was riding so bad.

“I got a bit of a rhythm and then started to catch them, by the fourth lap I was starting to catch up and eventually just got them at the end.”

Price said his strong start had given him hope for his first Outright round win of the season and his career.

“I got through pretty good, only a few little mistakes and a couple little crashes, but other than that it was really good,” Price said.

“It was looking pretty good there at the start of the day but as always Merriman puts on the charge at the end of the day.

“I’m happy with today… I look forward to tomorrow and being back on the podium again, hopefully one more spot up, it’ll be dry so we’ll see how we go.”

To watch video interviews with Merriman and Price click here.

Third Outright and in Championship Class 2 went to Honda racer Peter Boyle, teammate AJ Roberts and Yamaha pilot, Jarrod Bewley, rounded out the top-five.

In the championship point’s battle, Merriman’s performance extended his Outright lead to 12-points ahead of Jarrod Bewley. Roberts is now just two-points off Bewley for second Outright.

Moving onto results from today’s remaining classes and South Australian Ivan Long was the fastest Expert, followed by Daniel Milner and another SA rider, Rhyce Ahola.

There was a bit of an upset in the Championship Women’s Class, with Yamaha rider Jemma Wilson beating reigning champ, Alison Parker.

Stuart Bennett was again the quickest Championship Veteran and Geoff Ballard the fastest Championship Master.

In Clubman Outright, Dylan Rose was the winner ahead of Thomas Clark and Matthew Sprenger.

Clubman Veteran was taken out by Darren Averay.

Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha rider, Benjamin Burrell continued his winning form in Junior Lites 15-years, taking his fifth round win today ahead of Jake Wright and Tom McCormack.

Nic Tomlinson was the winner of Junior Class 1 (9-11 years), Mitch Kellner won Junior Class 2 and Liam Clover, Class 3.

For full championship point’s standings, results from today’s round, pics and video interviews, go to

The 2009 AORC is a 10-round series held over five weekends.

Round six of the AORC will be held tomorrow at Murray Bridge/Callington (SA). Rounds seven and eight: QLD on August 15th and 16th and rounds nine and 10: Young (NSW) on September 12th and 13th.

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 the Callington property (off the Princes Highway) tomorrow will open at 8.30am. The event will be run in ‘sprint format’ (several laps of the bush/motocross track racing against the clock) both days.

Admission is $6.00/Adult and $2.00/Child. For a map to the venue please visit

To enter or for more information please visit, contact Dirt Bike Promotions on 02 63624437 or 0438721024 or email [email protected].

Yamaha AORC Round Five Outright Top-10
1. Stefan Merriman
2. Toby Price
3. Peter Boyle
4. AJ Roberts
5. Jarrod Bewley
6. Chris Hollis
7. Ben Kearney
8. Ben Grabham
9. Geoff Braico
10. Jehi Willis

Yamaha AORC Outright Point’s standings (after round five)
1. Stefan Merriman 113 points
2. Jarrod Bewley 101
3. AJ Roberts 99
4. Toby Price 92
5. Ben Grabham 81
6. Chris Hollis 78
7. Ben Kearney 69
8. Peter Boyle 59
9. Kirk Hutton 59
10. Josh Green 49Last Exit buy

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