News 14 Sep 2009

AORC: Price wraps up first Australian Off-Road Championship


Twenty-two-year-old Toby Price, from Singleton (NSW), made history today when he claimed the 2009 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) Outright number one plate.

Four-time World Enduro Champion and Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha racer, Stefan Merriman, finished second in the championship, a mere 1.08-seconds behind, and won the Championship E2 class crown.

In Championship E1, it was Motorex KTM’s Ben Kearney (from Picton, NSW) who triumphed in a heated battle with Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha’s ‘King Kirk’ Hutton.

Up-and-coming KTM rider, Geoff Braico (from Hornsby, Sydney), claimed his first national title in Championship E3 after a strong ride at the final round of the championship held today near Young (NSW).

The cheer from MSC Kawasaki rider Price’s family, support crew and fans could probably have been heard several properties away this afternoon.

“Today went really good, up until about the fourth lap when I had a bit of a get off, Stefan caught back up a bit,” Price said.

“I just had to play it cool and calm down and just get through and I’m stoked [with the win].

“I can’t even describe what it feels like, it’s the most awesome feeling in the world.”

Price finished second in the Championship E2 class behind Merriman, due to a different point’s system being used in classes to the Championship Outright.

“I’m really happy to have won the E2 this year and to be back in Australia,” Merriman said.

“I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t win Outright because I was pushing, trying really hard, but I missed out by one-second for the Outright.

“Well done to Toby because he proved that he was faster and congratulations to Toby Price.”

Merriman said he would definitely be back to race the championship next year – “Australia’s a great country and I love living here and racing here,” he said.

A fierce battle in Championship E1 was won by Ben Kearney, after winning five of 10 rounds. Kirk Hutton won the class in three rounds and finished two-points behind (Husqvarna’s Chris Hollis claimed the top podium spot in the remaining rounds).

Championship E3 was taken out by Geoff Braico by 25-points over fellow KTM rider, Brad Williscroft.

To watch a video compilation including interviews with Price, Merriman, Kearney and Braico, as well as action footage from the weekend, click here.

In Expert E1, Lachlan Stanford was the fastest, winning by 14-points.

BMW rider Luke Tomlinson won Expert E2/3 by 17-points over Daniel Milner. Tomlinson also was victorious in Expert Outright by a slim one-point margin ahead of Milner.

In the remaining championship classes, Geoff Ballard took the Master’s title by 31-points.

In Championship Veteran’s, fellow Yamaha rider, Stuart Bennett, was the winner.

And in Championship Women’s, Jemma Wilson triumphed by 12-points.

Dyan Rose won Clubman E1. In Clubman E2/3, Thomas Clark took the win by 30-points.

Rose also won Clubman Outright by seven-points over Matthew Sprenger.

In Clubman Veteran’s, Wayne Winston was the winner by 28-points.

Talented youngster, Benjamin Burrell (Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha Team), was the fastest in Junior Lites 15-years and Junior Outright, followed by Tom McCormack.

The remaining Junior class winners were: Junior Class 1 ( 9 to 11-years), Nic Tomlinson, Junior Class 2 (12 to 13-years), Mitch Kellner, Junior Class 3 ( 14 to 15 years), Liam Clover and Junior Lites 13 to 14-years, Travis Cooper.

AORC organisers, Dirt Bike Promotions, wanted to thank all competitors, support crew and fans who helped make the 2009 championship truly memorable.

They also wished to say a huge thank you to the series’ sponsors, without whom the championship would not have been possible.

Yamaha 2009 AORC Outright Top-10
1. Toby Price Kawasaki Points: 214 E2
2. Stefan Merriman Yamaha 211 E2
3. Jarrod Bewley Yamaha 200 E2
4. Chris Hollis Husqvarna 155 E1
5. Ben Kearney KTM 147 E1
6. Ben Grabham KTM 146 E2
7. Kirk Hutton Yamaha 136 E1
8. Peter Boyle Honda 128 E2
9. AJ Roberts Honda 117 E2
10. Geoff Braico KTM 106 E3