KTM has dominated the 2016 Australian Off-Road Championship, claiming victory in all three Pro classes at the year’s season finale at Penshurst, Victoria.
KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders defied atrocious weather conditions to capture his first ever AORC overall title ahead of teammate Tye Simmonds. Chris Hollis on his CDR Yamaha captured the final step on the overall podium.
Chucky’s performance also saw the KTM rider win the E3 Class championship ahead of Husqvarna’s Lachlan Stanford and Husqvarna supported rider Lyndon Snodgrass. Chucky’s consistency all season long has see the 300 EXC mounted rider only drop two round wins this season after he struck an unseen object and injured his leg at the South Australian stop on the tour at Murray Bridge.
In the E2 class it was KTM’s Tye Simmonds who once again proved he has the speed in the bush and won the E2 class championship. Hollis raced to a second place finish aboard his Yamaha while Broc Grabham finish third in the title race.
Jack Simpson made it a complete KTM domination, using his KTM 250 SX-F to win the E1 class and take his first AORC outright podium on Saturday, then doing it all again on Sunday.
Ben Grabham – KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager: “Obviously we came in with a good lead, with the boys running one and two outright and first in both their classes, so we knew what we needed to do, but Chucky went out there when he didn’t have two and won outright in some pretty muddy, tricky conditions. He wrapped up E3 and the championship all in one go and proved without any doubt why he’s the champion.
Tye rode quite sensibly to be honest, and he locked away second outright behind Chucky, so the 1-2 was very nice to get. Today, Chucky didn’t even have to line up. He had everything wrapped up and we had a little bit of fun last night, so he was a little bit the worse for wear this morning but he went out there and dominated again. He was a level above everyone this year; he’s been amazing to work with, and it’s been great to watch and grow for the last two years. It was also cool seeing him put the mighty 300 two-stroke on the top step – it’s been a little while since the two strokes have won the AORC. Tye only had to get two points today, but he went out dominated E2, and took the championship. So he’s definitely shown his growth in the last two years in adapting to off-road. Everyone’s worked very hard, obviously Mick Carusi our head mechanic, and all the boys.
Our bikes have been faultless all year, those EXC’s are an amazing machine, that’s for sure.
It’s also great to see KTM get a clean sweep of all the Pro-classes with Jack Simpson winning on the 250F. We haven’t done much but we’ve helped him where we could. So it’s pretty amazing that after 12 rounds we’ve cleaned up everything like that.”
Daniel “Chucky” Sanders – KTM 300 EXC “I didn’t dominate this quite the way I had planned to; we were just chasing set up a bit early on. With this ‘17 we hadn’t had a sloppy race with it yet so we were finding things out about set up as we went and trying different things just to see what it would do. It was very slick and I didn’t have as much confidence in myself as I probably should have. I had a couple of early crashes so I tried to just keep it up right and push as hard as I could at the end. My mate Lyndon Snodgrass was going good so I was battling with him – it was just like training at home!Everything was sorted today though and I went back to putting 16 seconds on the boys every test so, the confidence was good.
This year’s been great, it would have been good to get the clean sweep, but that injury screwed me up. We sort of proved that we are the fastest everywhere though, so now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
We’ve got the 6-days coming up so it will be cool to go over there and chase it up with the big boys and see how we go. I’ve worked real hard to chase my dreams, so I’m not stopping now. When I say I want to do something I’ll put everything into it and be prepared to sacrifice a lot of things to get where I want to be.”
Tye Simmonds – KTM 450 EXC “Not too bad here, we were poking along okay. We were lucky enough to have a few points up the sleeve to make it easier to wrap up the second outright. I didn’t ride the best but we got the championship wrapped up so for me it’s happy days!
Yesterday I had nothing for the boys early on, I straight up got smoked. But we got it together a little bit and were able to protect that lead from Hollis.
Today was a bit better. I won the class for E2, and was a little bit closer to the boys up front.
I’m happy with this season. I started slow and was terrible, but we salvaged points and we got through it, that was the main thing. Obviously the last few rounds were more my style of tracks, but we worked hard on this so it’s good to see the rewards. It’s awesome to see KTM go 1-2 as well, Chucky has worked his arse off too, so he definitely deserves it.
I just want to thank the whole KTM team for their effort and help, and my personal sponsors and all the fans who follow what we do.”
Jack Simpson – KTM 250 SX-F “I’ve been going after that number one plate all year, and now finally the weight’s off the shoulders and I can relax. That will never ever get taken off me; it’s in the history books. I came into this round with a little of a buffer in the E1 class, and I had no expectation for the outright position. I was just aiming to win E1. But I finished first in my class and third outright the first day, and had a bit of good luck as well, because Riley Graham and Scott Keegan both lost their chains and DNFed or were way out of the picture. Glenn Kearney had a couple of big crashes and was down in 14th or 15th, so all I had to do was just stick to what I was doing, and come in on Saturday with the number one in the E1 class, and third outright which was my first ever outright podium.
Today was basically a carbon copy. Still had no idea about the outright situation, but by winning the class and finishing on the podium outright I made up 35 points on Stanford and Ralston and was two points short of finishing fourth – so that was a good thing.
My plan this year was to come in, learn the ropes of the sport and have no expectations. Just target the rounds and the championship will take care of itself.”
Nick Tomlinson – KTM 300 EXC “I was third and second for the weekend and second overall for the year, so that’s pretty good. I started off pretty unhappy with how I was riding, but I slowly picked it up. I had one good run yesterday, and then today got off to a really good start, but lost time in a tight section. Other than that it was pretty smooth.
With the championship I’m not really happy, but at the same time I didn’t think I was still going to get second overall after missing two rounds with my ankle. It’s not where I wanted to be, but it’s better than nothing.
Now we’re leaving for the six-day in two weeks and then we’ve got the four-day when we come back, so there’s plenty left to do yet.”
**2016 Yamaha AORC Top 10 Season Overall Standings**
1. KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders – 282
2. KTM Enduro Racing Teams Tye Simmonds – 226
3. CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis – 190
4. Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Lachlan Stanford – 177
5. Active8 Yamaha Yamalubes Beau Ralston – 176
6. Jack Simpson – 175
7. Broc Grabham – 147
8. Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Glenn Kearney – 140
9. Riley Graham – 113
10. CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack – 112
Championship E3 overall points standings:
1. KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders – 292
2. Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Lachlan Stanford – 248
3. Lyndon Snodgrass – 228
4. Active8 Yamaha Yamalubes Beau Ralston – 226
5. Tom Mason – 102
6. Brayden Zillman – 56
7. Lachlan Harrison – 45
8. Mitch Bowen – 34
9. Jeremy Sims – 34
10. Hayden Conroy – 30
Championship E2 Overall points standings:
1. KTM Enduro Racing Teams Tye Simmonds – 276
2. CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis – 246
3. Broc Grabham – 221
4. CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack – 194
5. Active8 Yamaha Yamalube’s Josh Greene – 133
6. Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Racing Team’s Justin Carafa – 113
7. Chris Davey – 102
8. Peter Boyle – 79
9. Kane Hall – 78
10 .Mitcham Harper – 77
Championship E1 overall points standings:
1. Jack Simpson – 278
2. Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Glenn Kearney – 249
3. Riley Graham – 225
4. Scott Keegan – 209
5. Baylee Davies – 171
6. Brad Hardaker – 136
7. Stefan Granquist – 109
8. Sean Holmes – 109
9. Peter Boyle – 78
10. Tom Kite – 73