The outback Queensland town of Roma hosts the opening two rounds of the 2024 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore this weekend – Daniel Milner is back on a KTM and back to challenge Kyron Bacon, Jonte Reynders and the AORC boys.

With a massive 245 entries, Roma will mark the start of the 18th AORC season. Since its 2007 inception, an enormous number of superstars have competed in the AORC, including two-time Dakar Rally winner Toby Price; International Six-Day Enduro (ISDE) individual winners Daniel Sanders and Daniel Milner; four-time world enduro champion Stefan Merriman; multiple Finke Desert Race and Australasian Safari champion Ben Grabham – and many more.

Like the beginning of every AORC campaign, there is massive intrigue on who can seamlessly slip into a winning groove when the racing gets underway in Roma where the competition will be fierce as the seasoned stars of enduro go into battle with the new wave of emerging talent.

Daniel Milner returns to the AORC Championship, with a self-run team including Tom Buxton, and after two seasons in the EnduroGP World Championship will be out to prove a point as he steps straight back into the ultra-competitive E2 class with backing from his former AORC suitor, KTM.


30 riders will contest the E2 class in Roma and, while the returning multi-time champion Milner will undoubtedly be a towering presence, the 2024 roster is exceptional with the likes of Jonte Reynders (Sherco), Andrew Wilksch (Beta), 2023 Junior champion Will Dennett (Yamaha), 2016 E2 champion Beau Ralston (Kawasaki) and former Australian ISDE representative Ben Kearns (Beta) waiting for him.

And there’s an international flavour thanks to French rider Toe Fugier (Sherco), who has also been an ISDE campaigner for his country.


Reynders, who was the in-form rider at the tail end of 2023, embarks on a sixth year with Sherco. Whatever eventuates after 12 rounds – ending in Nowra on September 14-15 – there will be a new E2 champion crowned in 2024 following the retirement of reigning champion Josh Green, who remains in the AORC paddock as a course assessor.

One more title for Jess?

As we edit this on International Women’s Day, it seems right to pull the enduro Women’s category headline acts up the order here Meanwhile, Cooper Sheidow (Yamaha), Riley McGillivray (KTM) and Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha) will begin their E1, E3 and EW (women’s) title defences in Roma.


The multi-time champion Gardiner will feel the heat from her teenage prodigy understudy, Danielle McDonald (Yamaha). McDonald waltzed through the AORCJ girls’ class in 2023 before a breakout performance in EnduroGP and the ISDE in Argentina as part of the second-placed Australian women’s team.

Class acts

Kyron Bacon (Yamaha) is the E1 favourite, if not the overall as well, with the Tasmanian consistently the fastest enduro rider in Australia over the last two seasons – he was another rider impressing with a superb cameo in the world enduro late last year. A mid-year injury in 2023 derailed Bacon’s AORC E1 defence, but he’ll be out for redemption in 2024.


Korey McMahon (GASGAS), New Zealander Tom Buxton (KTM) and Will Price (Kawasaki) are also in the 11-rider Roma E1 mix, the latter making a gritty return after a big crash late last year. Buxton is riding under the Milner umbrella, with the Kiwi finishing 14th in the 2023 world enduro E3 title.

The E3 class features a plethora of new names, but the talent runs deep with riders like Jye Dickson (Beta), Patrick McGillivray (KTM), Luke Chella (KTM), Fraser Higlett (Beta) and Tom Vance (Sherco) all looking to make early dents in Riley McGillivray’s title defence.

The EJ Junior class (16-U18) is a fertile ground for the nation’s next wave of stars, where Jett Yarnold (Yamaha) will fancy his chances after the two riders who finished in front of him last year – Dennett and Bill Hargy – have now moved on.

The competition will be fierce across all classes in Roma – 16 in total including more juniors, Masters and Veterans – with racing to be held over a ‘sprint’ format.


Entry is free for spectators on both days. The event location is Emoh Ruo Road, Euthulla.

More information across the weekend: AORC on Facebook or AORC on Instagram