2020 AORC: Meet The Champions
Back in March, when the penny dropped that the world had fallen into the grips of a pandemic and events were dropping off racing calendars left and right, it got us thinking about a few what ifs. What if the pandemic’s impact was more protracted than initially expected and the postponed rounds of these various series could not be rescheduled for later in the year? What if the racing we’d witnessed up till March was all she wrote for series around the world? And what did these series’ rule books say about a forcibly shortened series? Would champions not be crowned at all, or would the red plate holders simply be awarded the titles after just a few rounds?
As we reported back in March this year, both Feld Entertainment and the AMA confirmed there was nothing in the rulebook about the minimum number (or percentage) of rounds that need to take place to constitute a national championship. In Australia, neither the national MX nor SX series had even kicked off, while the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) managed to run just three of its 12-round calendar before the world as we all knew it changed. And at the time, the AORC Management Team’s Matt Falvo confirmed with Transmoto that, like the AMA SX, the AORC’s rulebook has no stipulation about the minimum number of rounds required to constitute a championship.
So, when Motorcycling Australia (MA) announced earlier this week that the AORC’s sole remaining round (scheduled for November) had been cancelled, the writing was on the wall. The AORC’s red plate holders after three rounds would be crowned national champions.
No doubt some will claim that these title wins will forever have an asterisk next to them. But you can’t blame the riders. Nor can you point the finger at the AORC’s organisers for whom all the border restrictions in Oz made running any further rounds of the 2020 series impossible. The one thing everyone will take out of it is the importance of coming out swinging in the opening few rounds of a series because, as events over the past six months have highlighted, anything can happen.
Here is MA’s PR that confirms the crowning of the AORC’s 2020 champions, plus Transmoto’s (unofficial) Outright standings in which KTM’s Daniel Milner wrapped up his fourth title (now just one behind Toby Price’s record of five Outright victories)…
Motorcycling Australia (MA) today announced the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), presented by MXstore, 2020 champions for all 14 classes. The crowning of the 2020 champions follows the decision today by AORC Management Team to cancel the remaining round scheduled for November of the championship due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 state border restrictions.
With two spectacular rounds held at Toowoomba, Queensland, and one round at Dungog, NSW (Round 4 was cancelled due to severe weather), before COVID-19 pandemic hit, enough rounds have been run to award our 2020 champions.
The 2020 AORC kicked off with record entries, nearly 100 Junior riders entered, in an expanded 14 classes of competition with new Junior classes, the return of 2-Stroke Cup and scintillating Senior racing in both the men’s and women’s classes.
A record more than 280 riders competed in the first two rounds, and we introduced the Yamaha and OffRoad Advantage initiative – Yamaha Off-Road Tech and Tips (YORTT) – providing specialised coaching for Junior competitors by Australian and World Champion riders.
Australia’s premier motocross talent joined AORC – including in the E1 class KTM Enduro Racing Teams, Mason Semmens, in E2 class and Husqvarna Australia backed Todd Waters and Callum Norton in the E3 class, all who scored podiums on their first outing.
“We are very excited to be able to crown our 2020 Australian Off-Road Champions in all 14 classes,” said Motorcycling Australia CEO, Peter Doyle. The Championship wouldn’t be the world-class success it is without our key partners and sponsors, Yamaha Motor Australia, MXstore, Ballard’s and Offroad Advantage.
“With record fields, expanded classes, strong competition, and tremendous partners, it was shaping up to be fantastic year. We congratulate each of the riders on their amazing success and each becoming MA Australian Champions. Whilst the 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore, was interrupted, we are pleased about the growth of the championship in 2020 and can’t wait to see even bigger thing for AORC in 2021,” Doyle went on to say.
2020 YAMAHA AORC – CHAMPIONS:
Champion: Luke Styke (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube) – 70 Points
2ND: Mason Semmens (KTM Enduro Racing Team) – 69 Points
3RD: Kyron Bacon (MXStore, Yamaha Motor Australia) 62 Points
Champion: Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) – 75 Points
2ND: Joshua Green (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube) – 60 Points
3RD: Todd Waters (Berry Sweet Husqvarna) – 59 Points
Champion: Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) – 75 Points
2ND: Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Racing Team) – 66 Points
3RD: Fraser Higlett (RJR Shopfitting, Husqvarna) – 56 Points
Champion: Korey McMahon (KTM, Suttos Powersports) – 72 Points
2ND: Blake Hollis (bLU Cru Off-Road Racing Team) – 69 Points
3RD: Samuel Pretscherer – 55 Points
Champion: Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha Ballards MXstore Off-Road) – 75 Points
2ND: Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha Motor Australia) – 64 Points
3RD: Emma Milesevic (Penrite Honda) – 62 Points
Champion: Brad Hardaker (Banana Coast Pest Control, Yamaha) – 67 Points
2ND: Harrison Teed – 65 Points
3RD: Dalton Johnson (Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Racing Team) – 62 Points
Champion: Lee Stephens (True Painting & Decorating, KTM Newcastle) – 75 Points
2ND: Richard Chibnall (WBR Echuca, Onpoint Motorcycles) – 66 Points
3RD: Christopher Thomas (Thomas Lee KTM) – 58 Points
Champion: Kirk Hutton (Yamaha Motor Australia) – 75 Points
2ND: Andrew Gillam (Coolblue) – 62 Points
3RD: Peter Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles, AutoWired) – 49 Points
Champion: Jett Yarnold – 75 Points
2ND: Levi Stephens – 62 Points
3RD: Jack Shearer – 56 Points
Champion: Billy Hargy (Husqvarna) – 70 Points
2ND: William Dennett – 69 Points
3RD: Max Phillips (Phillips Transport, Mototech) – 56 Points
Champion: Riley McGillivray (AJs Motorcycles, Tunetech Racing) – 75 Points
2ND: Kodi Stephens (True Painting & Decorating, KTM Newcastle) – 66 Points
3RD: Kobi Wolff (Westlink Petroleum, MPE Suspension) – 60 Points
Champion: Danielle McDonald (Yamaha Ballard’s MXstore Off-Road) – 75 Points
2ND: Ariana Collins – 66 Points
3RD: Monique Simioni – 60 Points
Champion: Mason Boucher – 56 Points
2ND: Cooper Boyd – 56 Points
3RD: Lachlan Roche – 53 Points
Champion: Jack Stevenson – 50 Points
2ND: Harley Hutton – 44 Points
3RD: Dylan McDonald – 40 Points