KTM DM31 Racing team's Daniel Milner

As far as opening Rounds go, this has to be one of the best. Rounds 1 & 2 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore (AORC) have wrapped up in Roma, Queensland with familiar faces returning to the fold, as well as new faces from across the globe.

By Caitlin Hynes. Images by Troy Pears, KTM, Gas Gas

Alongside another blitz of times from Daniel Milner (KTM Australia, DM31 Racing Team), Danielle McDonald (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team) claimed her first EW win ahead of teammate Jess Gardiner (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team).

With a deeply stacked field, there was no doubt that the results would knock the breath out of us. Claiming wins alongside McDonald was Kyron Bacon (Shop Yamaha, Threesix Motorsports) in E1, Milner in E2, Riley McGillivray (Shepparton Motorcycles, KTM) in E3 and Jett Yarnold (Yamaha Motor Australia, Yamalube) in EJ.

Bacon cooked his competition once again in Roma! With a total time of 48:39.018 after four Sprints across the MXstore test track, the Tasmanian took another comfortable win. This undoubtedly sets the Yamaha rider up for plenty of success throughout the 2024 season!

Kyron Bacon Aorc Rd1 2
Kyron Bacon

Behind Bacon in second place today was Korey McMahon (GASGAS Australia, Motorex). Seemingly finding his feet after Round 1, McMahon was right at home on the MXstore test, regardless of logs, rocks and a thoroughly churned-up track. McMahon clocked off today with a total time of 50:02.391.

Jumping into third today was New Zealander Tom Buxton (KTM Australia, DM31 Racing Team). The KTM racer used Saturday to size up his competition, using it to his advantage for Round 2. After four Sprints, Buxton finished with a total time of 50:13.130.

2024 AORC Round 2 E1 Top 5 Provisional Results:

  1. Kyron Bacon (Shop Yamaha, Threesix Motorsports) 48:39.018
  2. Korey McMahon (GASGAS Australia, Motorex) 50:02.391
  3. Tom Buxton (KTM Australia, DM31 Racing Team) 50:13.130
  4. Cooper Sheidow (Yamaha Motor Australia, Yamalube) 51:00.588
  5. Will Price (Empire Motorsports Kawasaki Off Road Race Team) 53:02.884

Claiming the fastest overall time today ahead of Bacon and back-to-back E2 class wins was Milner. With a total time of 48:03.326, Milner has quickly become one rider everyone is watching and sizing up.

Daniel Milner

Behind Milner for back-to-back silver was Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Team). After four Sprints, the Sherco rider clocked off with a total time of 49:33.394. Reynders fended off the likes of Will Dennett (Shop Yamaha, Threesix Motorsports) and Andy Wilksch (Beta Offroad Team), managing to produce just over a 30-second lead.

Dennett and Wilksch tangoed for the third and final podium placement but after a long day in the sun, it was Queenslander Dennett that claimed the third step with a total time of 50:03.522.

2024 AORC Round 2 E2 Top 5 Provisional Results:

  1. Daniel Milner (KTM Australia, DM31 Racing Team) 48:03.326
  2. Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Team) 49:33.394
  3. Will Dennett (Shop Yamaha, Threesix Motorsports) 50:03.522
  4. Andy Wilksch (Beta Offroad Team) 50:14.633
  5. Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team) 51:47.818

What we’ve noticed about McGillivray is that no matter the weather, the conditions or the competition, he is the same cool, calm and collected racer all year round. After four Sprints on the MXstore track, McGillivray claimed his consecutive E3 class win thanks to a total time of 50:22.902.

Riley McGillivray

Nearly a minute behind him in second place today is Billy Hargy (Simford Group Motorsport). Jumping up the E3 leaderboard today, Hargy was much more comfortable and confident compared to yesterday. The Simford racer clocked off today with a total time of 51:15.700.

Hot on Hargy’s heels was Queenslander, Fraser Higlett (Beta Australia). Claiming a consecutive third place finish in E3, the Beta racer managed to beat Stefan Granquist (Husqvarna) onto the podium with just 8.983 seconds separating them!

2024 AORC Round 2 E3 Top 5 Provisional Results:

  1. Riley McGillivray (Shepparton Motorcycles, KTM) 50:22.902
  2. Billy Hargy (Simford Group Motorsport) 51:15.700
  3. Fraser Higlett (Beta Australia) 51:31.043
  4. Stefan Granquist (Husqvarna) 51:40.026
  5. Jye Dickson (Beta Racing Australia) 54:16.815

The swan song for Round 2 was McDonald’s first-ever class win! After moving up from JG to EW this season, McDonald has proved why she’s a major contender for the Championship. McDonald beat Gardiner to the top step with over a one-minute lead. While the Yamaha racer appeared nervous in Round 1, she was utterly at home in the slippery, dusty and highly technical MXstore test.

Danielle Mcdonald Roma
Danielle Mcdonald

2023 EW Champion, Gardiner conceded for second place. After four Sprints, Gardiner clocked off with a total time of 54:46.569.

Rounding out the podium for Round 2 was Ebony Nielsen (Beta Motorcycles Australia). Nielsen battled with Emelie Karlsson (Cassons, Husqvarna) for bronze and after four Sprints, managed to clinch the spot thanks to a 4.157 second lead.

“It was a tough battle between me and Jess all day, so I’m stoked to come away with the win today,” confirmed McDonald.

“It was a pretty tough track but it suited my style more than yesterday. The WR450F test wasn’t my cup of tea so I came third but I’ve obviously come back this Round faster and stronger.

“Heading into Rounds 3 & 4, I just need to keep my pace, not stress too much and have fun!”

2024 AORC Round 2 EW Top 5 Provisional Results:

  1. Danielle McDonald (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team) 53:15.149
  2. Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team) 54:46.569
  3. Ebony Nielsen (Beta Motorcycles Australia) 1:00:44.223
  4. Emelie Karlsson (Cassons, Husqvarna) 1:00:48.380
  5. Nenah Chadwick (RR Racing) 1:12:46.294

Yamaha’s Yarnold just couldn’t be beat in EJ, as he heads back to New South Wales with two first place finishes! Truthfully, we shouldn’t be surprised by this success, as we’ve witnessed this pocket rocket demolish his competition in former years as a Junior competitor.

Jett Yarnold Roma
Jett Yarnold

Behind Yarnold once again is Eli Tripcony (Husqvarna, Motorex) and Oliver Paterno (Port Macquarie Motorcycles, Yamaha), in second and third place respectively. Both Tripcony and Paterno couldn’t reach the speeds or times of Yarnold but managed to comfortably protect their positions from the likes of Davey Gear (Leatt, Nutrien Ag) and Jackson Versteegen (Peter Stevens, Fox Australia).

2024 AORC Round 2 EJ Top 5 Provisional Results:

  1. Jett Yarnold (Yamaha Motor Australia, Yamalube) 53:15.149
  2. Eli Tripcony (Husqvarna, Motorex) 54:46.569
  3. Oliver Paterno (Port Macquarie Motorcycles, Yamaha) 55:54.001
  4. Davey Gear (Leatt, Nutrien Ag) 56:13.086
  5. Jackson Versteegen (Peter Stevens, Fox Australia) 56:45.131