Daniel Milner fires 2020 warning shot with overall wins at rounds one and two of the 2020 AORC in Toowoomba, Queensland – epic E1 and EJ battles across two Sprint Enduro day's racing. 


After not finding his mojo in 2019, Daniel Milner kicked off his 2020 Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) season with two commanding E2 wins and the fastest overall time both days. Daniel Sanders claims the E3 win both days while E1 wins were shared by Luke Styke and Mason Semmens.

In pristine conditions at Toowoomba, rounds one and two of the 2020 AORC ran a sprint enduro format on both days. While Milner signalled he was back to form ahead of Sanders overall (who carried a wrist injury) the battle in E1 was fascinating between defending champ Luke Styke and upstarts Mason Semmens and Kyron Bacon.  


Untouchable Milner 

As he said earlier at the AORC press launch, Milner wanted to leave the 2019 season behind him and he did that definitively. Back at full fitness, the KTM rider came, saw and conquered, giving no chance to his rivals finishing nearly a minute faster in both E2 class and overall on both days. 

Australian national motocross champion and former MXGP rider, Todd Waters, had a successful debut weekend at his first AORC rounds finishing runner-up to Milner Saturday and Sunday. Yamaha rider Josh Green rounded the podium. 

“Today started off strong but I ran into some trouble and came off the bike and I’m lucky that I was able to get back up and continue riding, honestly,” explained Milner.

“Apart from that incident though, my day was pretty good and finished up well with the class win! I think I came into this round swinging, ready to get back into the game in a big way.”


Sanders takes E3

Daniel Sanders showed everyone why he runs the number one on his Husqvarna and won the E3 class both days. Despite being unchallenged in the big bike class Sanders had to content himself with two second places in the overall. 

A pre-season injury for Chucky didn’t help with training leading up to Toowoomba: “I haven’t been putting many hours into high-speed straights during the off-season so Saturday’s test really got me. But it proves that I need to take the next month to spend more time on the bike and come out swinging at Dungog,” said Sanders. 

Second and third went to Jonte Reynders and Callum Norton with Fraser Higlett finishing down in an uncharacteristic fourth. 


Luke Styke and Mason Semmens share E1 glory 

First E1 win of the year went to Luke Styke on day one but it sure isn’t going to be easy this year for the reigning champion. E1 in 2020 looks the class to watch with the experienced Styke having to contend with super-fast upstarts in the shape of Mason Semmens and Kyron Bacon. 

Semmens finished second on day one by eight seconds but went a gear up on day two, clinch a comfortable win almost two minutes ahead of Kyron Bacon (third the previous day) with Styke dropping to third. 


Double win for Gardiner 

Proving she continues to lead the charge in the Women’s class, Jess Gardiner was over a minute faster than her rivals both days. Emma Milesevic was third on Saturday and second on Sunday while Emelie Karlsson, making the long trip from Sweden to race AORC did the opposite with P2 Saturday and third in Sunday’s round two.

“I preferred yesterday just because the conditions suited me better, but I sent it today and I’m super happy with the end result,” says Gardiner.

“Having to take time off after ISDE due to my knee, I’m relaxed plus I’ve also been going super hard in the training sessions leading up to these two rounds, and the improvement was noticeable.”


EJ honours for McMahon

After a weekend-long fight Korey McMahon put his KTM on top of the podium both days ahead of Blake Hollis. The fight between the clearly fastest pair was close with McMahon taking day two by just six seconds. Sam Prestscherer clinched third place on both days to complete the podium. 


The AORC will return in March 14-15 for rounds three and four at Dungog, New South Wales. 


2020 AORC rounds 1 & 2 results: 

E1 round 1: 

Luke Styke (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube), 55:47.177

Mason Semmens (KTM Enduro Racing Team), 55:55.475

Kyron Bacon (MXstore, Yamaha), 57:38.520

Corey Hammond, 58:27.020

Joshua Kilvington, 59:26.944

Lachlan Allan (Kawasaki Motors Australia Valvoline Team), 1:00:34.741

Kristian Sprenger (Yamaha, Thor), 1:01:07.606

Matthew Zygarlicki (Wonthaggi MPE), 1:02:04.892

Kyle Nielsen, 1:06:22.077


E1 round 2:

Mason Semmens (KTM Enduro Racing Team), 1:02:17.803

Kyron Bacon (MXstore, Yamaha), 1:04:04.410

Luke Styke (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube), 1:04:31.397

Corey Hammond, 1:05:24.557

Joshua Kilvington, 1:08:13.354

Lachlan Allan (Kawasaki Motors Australia Valvoline Team), 1:08:38.668

Kyle Nielsen, 1:12:50.154


E2 round 1:

Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team), 54:39.515

Todd Waters (Berry Sweet, Husqvarna), 55:27.309

Josh Green (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube), 55:36.369

Michael Driscoll (Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team), 56:19.534

Beau Ralston (Hunter Valley Motorsport, Kawasaki), 56:34.543

Cooper Sheidow (Kessner Motorcycles, KTM), 57:01.569

Stefan Granquist, 57:05.336

Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team), 57:07.044

William Price (Kessner KTM, Thor), 58:54.058

Brent Dean, 59:40.260


E2 round 2:

Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team), 59:40.014

Todd Waters (Berry Sweet, Husqvarna), 1:01:23.801

Josh Green (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube), 1:01:32.312

Michael Driscoll (Yamaha bLU cRU Offroad Racing Team), 1:02:07.178

Stefan Granquist (Yamaha), 1:02:55.064

Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team), 1:03:44.189

Beau Ralston (Hunter Valley Motorsports, Kawasaki), 1:04:06.337

Cooper Sheidow (Kessner Motorcycles, KTM), 1:05:01.146

William Price (Kessner KTM, Thor), 1:06:00.818

Brock Nichols, 1:06:06.881


E3 round 1:

Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team), 55:21.276

Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Offroad Racing Team), 56:59.302

Callum Norton (KTM Desert Racing Team), 57:09.295

Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna, MXstore), 58:14.856

Jesse Lawton (Thor), 58:38.441

Hayden Keeley, 59:22.916

Matt Murry (Kawasaki Motors Australia Valvoline Team), 1:00:48.493

Luke Bunnik (Sherco, Bunnik Construction & Limestone), 1:02:16.525

Neil Collard, 1:02:27.760

Chris Reading (BD Richardson Transport), 1:02:48.096


E3 round 2:

Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team), 1:00:34.390

Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Offroad Racing Team), 1:02:39.430

Callum Norton (KTM Desert Racing Team), 1:03:05.077

Fraser Higlett (MXstore, Husqvarna), 1:04:02.829

Jesse Lawton (Thor), 1:04:56.689

Hayden Keeley, 1:06:28.246

Neil Collard, 1:08:18.309

Luke Bunnik (Sherco Australia, Bunnik Construction & Limestone), 1:09:47.512

Matt Murry, 1:10:02.167

Chris Reading, 1:10:43.596


Women’s round 1:

Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team), 1:10:30.314

Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha), 1:12:19.635

Emma Milesevic (Penrite Honda), 1:12:39.532

Ebony Nielsen (FocusX Gear), 1:14:49.454

Kaitlyn Hall (Halls Transport Repairs), 1:20:29.445

Avril Gill, 1:21:16.676

Julie Denyer (DN&G Denyer), 1:22:11.950

Zoe Boccari, 1:23:06.369

Ivy Cross (FXR, North Coast Petroleum), 1:28:16.575

Grace Woolston, 1:33:38.618


Women’s round 2:

Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team), 55:34.164

Emma Milesevic (Penrite Honda), 56:37.987

Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha), 56:44.034

Ebony Nielsen, 59:25.501

Kaitlyn Hall (Halls Transport Repairs), 1:02:40.468

Charlotte Gamble (Pete’s Trackside), 1:02:44.925

Avril Gill, 1:03:12.461

Julie Denyer, 1:04:54.505

Zoe Boccari, 1:05:34.347

Megan Hotz, 1:06:09.032


EJ round 1:

Korey McMahon (Sutto’s Motorex KTM Racing Team), 58:05.112

Blake Hollis (Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team), 58:44.064

Samuel Pretscherer (Gol Gol Hotel, Mototech), 59:40.496

Ben Teed, 1:02:37.820

Zac Perry (Harbour City Motorcycles), 1:02:38.748

Jayden Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles), 1:02:46.751

Oscar Collins (Jeff Collins Plumbing), 1:03:27.389

Tom Teed, 1:03:35.388

Kobe Conley (Fist Handwear, City Bike Centre), 1:03:35.899

Tomas Kruger, 1:04:28.960


EJ round 2:

Korey McMahon (Sutto’s Motorex KTM Racing Team), 1:04:44.641

Blake Hollis (Yamaha bL U cRU Offroad Racing Team), 1:04:50.664

Sam Pretscherer (Gol Gol Hotel, Mototech), 1:06:54.289

Ben Teed, 1:09:12.403

Lewis Martin (Thomas Lee Motorcycles), 1:10:06.015

Tom Teed, 1:10:24.734

Jayden Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles, AutoWired), 1:10:52.056

Kobe Conley (Fist Handwear, City Bike Centre), 1:12:04.677

Oscar Collins (Jeff Collins Plumbing), 1:12:10.293

Jack Conlan, 1:13:30.931



More information: AORC.org.au

Photo credit: AORC/Troy Pears