Mudbath at AORC round seven – Price takes first outright
Toby Price has continued his seemingly unstoppable, winning form today with his fourth round win of the 2010 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC).
Price, from Singleton (NSW), took the Outright and Yamaha Championship E2 Class victories in extreme, muddy conditions today at round seven of the Yamaha AORC, held near Wedderburn in Victoria.
Several riders did not finish the grueling race, with 14 of the 74 senior starters failing to cross the finish line.
Stefan Merriman, of the Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha team, was one of the riders who failed to finish. Merriman was running a close second to Price before running out of fuel.
Price, 22, finished nearly four-minutes ahead of the second-placed rider in the mass-start, cross-country race (Price finished in 2(hrs):47(min), some of the senior field were on their bikes for nearly 3:20.00).
“It was pretty crazy. The whole race was muddy, the bike’s copped a flogging today – definitely a tough day in the office,” Price said.
“I got heap of mud in my eyes, the left eye’s a bit blurry… other than that it all went really well.
“I’ve got some eye drops and we’re trying to fix them up ourselves… I’ll make the decision [whether I’ll race tomorrow] in the morning.”
The Motorex KTM Off-Road Team rider kicked off his 2010 season with wins at the opening two rounds of the Yamaha AORC, held at Port Macquarie, on March 13th and 14th. He extended his points lead further with another victory at Moruya (May 29th).
Only three rounds of the 2010 Yamaha AORC have been held, heavy rain and storms forcing the cancelation of the Conondale rounds and the second Moruya round (Queensland will still get a slice of AORC action, with the finale now scheduled to be held near Warwick on September 4th and 5th).
Price’s teammates, Jarrod Bewley (GP Industries Championship E1) and Ben Grabham (Pirelli Championship E3) also extended their point’s leads today with wins in their respective classes.
Grabham came second Outright, Bewley third.
Up-and-comer, Luke Tomlinson, finished a commendable fourth Outright.
Expert rider, Rick Miles, claimed the first top-five Outright placing for an Expert rider in AORC history, coming fifth.
Seventeen-year-old Tom McCormack nabbed his best AORC result to date, with sixth Outright. Fellow E1 rider, Luka Bussa, followed in seventh, Mitchell Bowen was eighth, Nicholas Beattie (9th) and Rhyce Ahola (10th).
In the Junior ranks, Alex Stephenson was the quickest across the line.
Yamaha AORC Round Seven Top-10 Outright
1. Toby Price (Pro E2 winner)
2. Ben Grabham (Pro E3 winner)
3. Jarrod Bewley (Pro E1 winner)
4. Luke Tomlinson E2
5. Rick Miles Expert E2/E3
6. Tom McCormack E1
7. Luka Bussa E1
8. Mitchell Bowen E3
9. Nick Beattie E2
10. Rhyce Ahola Expert E1
Photo: Kate Tomlinson