After his clean sweep in 2017, Daniel Milner swapped his KTM 450 for a KTM 500 in his attempt to become the first rider to capture the Outright victory in each class of the Australian Off-Road Championship. And his timing may have been perfect had not Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna) returned to Australia after a disappointing year in the World Enduro Championship.
At the first two rounds of the 2018 AORC in Miva Queensland, both riders dominated their respective classes with Sanders taking the win in E2 on his Husqvarna 450 and Milner winning E3.
In the Outright, it was all square. And so to Hedley in South East Victoria where, over three 16km cross-country Supersprints with a total elapsed time of an hour, Sanders took the win – by a very slim margin of just four 10th of a second – and the lead in Outright.
Despite a few small crashes, Milner won the E3 class finishing second outright behind Sanders. Sunday, however, the positions were reversed. Milner won the series of short sprints (4-1) for a round win by almost a full second, taking the outright to two all.
Yamaha’s new recruit Luke Styke has taken command of the 250 (E1) class and lies only 10 points behind Yamaha teammate Josh Green (E2). Together with KTM 300 (E3) rider Lyndon Snodgrass, these are the only competitors likely to figure in the outright podium at the end of the season.
In the Women’s division, the Yamahas of five-time ISDE Champions Jemma Wilson and Jess Gardiner continue to hold Emilie Karlsson (Yamaha) at bay – but only just – and Mike Driscoll (Yamaha) dominates the Juniors; winning all four rounds held in 2018.
As appeared in AMCN Mag Vol 67 No 22
By Peter Whitaker
Photo John Pearson