2021 AORC: A ‘DEAD RUBBER’ OF A SEASON
With big roll-ups, a stack of fresh talent, slick organisation, a first-time free-to-air TV package, and ding-dong racing action up and down the field, the 2021 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) kicked off with a bang at Victoria’s Golden Beach back in mid April. Sadly, the excitement was short-lived as lockdowns and travel restrictions put the kibosh on all subsequent rounds. Despite best efforts to reschedule events to weekends later in the year, the relentless pandemic had other ideas. And that left the AORC Management Team with no choice late last week but to announce that the 2021 Yamaha AORC, presented by MXstore, had been cancelled. And by cancelled, they mean cancelled. As in, entirely!
Last season, the AORC’s red plate holders after an abbreviated three rounds of competition were crowned national champions. For season 2021, however, there will be no such thing as AORC champions. Huh? Why’s that?
Because in 2020, the AORC’s rulebook did not stipulate a minimum number (or portion) of rounds required to constitute a national championship. Then, in the wake of last year’s abbreviated series, the AORC’s rulebook was updated for 2021 so that a minimum of three rounds would be required to constitute a legit national series and crown its champions. Hence, with only two AORC rounds in the books this year, the 2021 AORC has no champions.
Here’s the full transcript of last week’s PR from Motorcycling Australia’s AORC Management Team, which explains the situation…
Uncertainty On Border Openings Sees 2021 AORC Championship Cancelled
The AORC Management Team announces today the very difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore. Unfortunately, with no clarity provided by State Governments around the timing for the opening of state borders, AORC Management Team has made the necessary decision to cancel the championship in 2021.
As only two rounds of the 2021 AORC Championship were conducted and in accordance with the AORC Championship regulations, there will be no Champions awarded for any classes in 2021.
The AORC Championship has been on hold for many months and was only able to conduct two rounds over one weekend in April at Golden Beach, Victoria.
Every AORC event requires significant planning and on-ground preparations many weeks prior to each round to ensure world-class tracks are provided for competitors. Without the clear indication from State Governments on border openings timelines, the AORC Management Team has made this extremely hard decision to cancel the Championship as we are unable to plan for future events.
Furthermore, the AORC Management Team wish to provide the riders, teams and fans a clear position for the remainder of 2021; also allowing for solid plans and preparations for an exciting 2022 AORC Championship with planning already underway to ensure it is bigger and better than ever.
The decision of the AORC Management Team is supported by Motorcycling Australia CEO, Peter Doyle, who said it was disappointing the decision had to be made, although it was necessary to ensure riders and teams could plan for the future.
“We completely understand the frustration and disappointment felt by riders, teams and fans. It has been a very difficult past 18 months for the sport and for the AORC riders and teams. We thank them for their patience and support during this time, but with State Governments’ failing to guarantee the timeline of the reopening of state borders, the tough decision needs to be made,” Mr Doyle said.
Motorcycling Australia will release an exciting calendar for the 2022 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore, in the coming weeks. Plans for 2022 Championship are sure to provide fans with sensational world-class racing and have riders revved up to get back racing