This Saturday and Sunday the once gold rush boom town of Wedderburn in Victoria will experience action of a very different kind when rounds seven and eight of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) hit the quiet township.
From Thursday, hundreds of competitors, fans and support crew will start arriving at Wedderburn, located about 200 kilometres north of Melbourne for the two-day race.
The rounds, appropriately dubbed the Yamaha Gold Rush AORC, are being organised by Motorcycling Australia in conjunction with the Bendigo Motorcycle Club.
Bendigo Motorcycle Club’s Chris Gray expects a fantastic weekend of racing and said conditions at the venue would be ideal.
“We’ve had just the right amount of rain,” Mr Gray said. “A few more showers are forecast for this week, but it’s very unlikely we’ll get any and it’s supposed to be clear for the weekend. The tracks look great. We’ve got a 25-minute loop for the cross-country on Saturday.
“About 10-minutes of it is awesome grass-track, with some fast sections – it’s super loamy and will be great fun to ride. The other 15-minutes is in the bush, it’s a bit tight, and the ground is a granity rock. It’s gonna be a great event, riders will have a ball.
“As a club we’re excited to be helping run this national event. Everyone is pitching in, there’s a real buzz in the club… even guys who don’t normally help with off-road stuff are getting involved, it’s great to see. It will be great for us, too, to see the top-20 in the country blasting around our track. It’ll be good to see how they do it as opposed to how we do!”
The rounds will pose an opportunity for Victorian Off-Road Champion, Daniel Milner, to claw back some points after suffering bad luck in the first half of the championship.
Milner, 19, from Lang Lang in Gippsland, is sitting 13th in the Yamaha Championship E2 Class.
“At the first round I blew my bike up,” Milner said. “In the second round I got third Outright, so I was happy with that. At the next round at Moruya I got a penalty, that hurt me again with points.
“Hopefully [this weekend] I can just stay on the bike and try to get a few good outright results. That’s the plan. The competition is real tough. Toby Price is riding real well, Stefan was flying… it’s real hard to place, but I’ll be giving it everything this weekend.”
The Cross Country format consists of a mass-start, 2.5-hour race, while the Sprint format sees competitors start one-at-a-time and complete one lap at a time, doing several heats in the day.
Toby Price currently leads the Yamaha Championship E2 Class and Outright.
The Yamaha AORC includes the following Australian championship classes: GP Industries E1, Yamaha E2, Pirelli E3, RK Chains Veteran’s, Master’s, Motul Women’s and Junior Class 1,2,3,4 & 5, as well as the following support classes: Polisport Expert E1, Endura Expert E2/E3, Clubman E1, Clubman E2/3 and Clubman Veteran’s.
Gates at the Wedderburn property (located off the Calder Highway, about 10-minutes on the Bendigo side of Wedderburn) will open to the public at 9:00am 10-11 July.
Admission is just $5.00 per adult, children under 14 are free.