CORE BUSINESS BECKONS FOR TEAM KTM
With the frenzied, cut and thrust of Enduro–X behind them, KTM Enduro Racing Team riders Toby Price and Peter Boyle return to their core business of off-road racing this weekend at the AORC opener at Bulahdelah.
The Australian Off-Road Championships is a seven-month, 12-round, test of man and machine stretching across four states, and contested by the cream of Australia’s enduro and off-road racing talent to determine the best all-round racers in three categories.
Toby Price holds a legitimate place in Aussie bike racing folklore, both for his domination of all forms of off-road racing and more recently for his determined recovery from a major spinal injury suffered early last year.
Early-season racing, including a win in the Transmoto 12-Hour alongside team manager Brad Williscroft last weekend, has shown the irrepressible Maitlander is well back on the pace. The KTM 450 EXC rider expects nothing less than to be in contention for the AORC Overall crown at the back end of the season.
Enigmatic Victorian Peter Boyle can beat anyone in his moment, and he has worked hard to improve consistency after an up-and-down showing in the KTM Enduro-X Nationals.
Boyle will take a KTM 250 EXC-F into E1 championship, and a smart punter would not overlook him.
The team’s third rider Matthew Phillips will not be available for the opening of AORC rounds due to international racing commitments.
KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager Brad Williscroft: “Toby and I raced together at the 12 hour last weekend and tested some suspension options, which was positive. Then yesterday and today we had Boyley out testing and he's really happy with his bike as well.
Pete’s riding a lot smoother and he was going real well today so it will be interesting to see how he goes in E1. The way Toby was riding on the weekend and the way his bike is performing I’d expect Toby to be an outright contender for sure, but that first day of 20 min sprints will give us a better idea of where we're at with the other guys.
Both boys know they need to go out there and be consistent even if they don't win. It's always important to start the series with good points.”
Toby Price KTM 450 EXC: “It's been a good week leading up for us, we did the 12 hour last weekend, a little testing and some photos and I'm coming in feeling pretty good with the body and the fitness, so we'll wait and see how it all pans out. The sprint format should be fun so we'll just go out there and try to lay down fast laps and see where that puts us at the end of the day. I'll be riding the KTM 450 EXC in the AORC series and the last time I rode the 450 back in 2010 was one of my best years, so I hope to kick that off again. It won't be as easy this time, but I'll just try to be smooth and consistent for the series and see what results that brings us."
Peter Boyle KTM 250 EXC-F: “I'm feeling pretty good, we've got the bike sorted with the switch from enduro-X to cross-country racing mode and I can't wait to get back out there in the bush where we've got a bit more time and space to get away with that small mistake. I've never raced at Bulahdelah, I know it's going to be tough and all the boys will be on it, so let the best guy win. I want to come back and try and beat these boys again, to see if I can still do it. The KTM 250 EXC-F is going to help; I've got the power a lot better down low, and handling through corners is just amazing. I'm hitting things quicker and smoother than ever.”
2014 AUSTRALIAN OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP
Rd 1&2: 22/23 March, Buladelah, NSW
Rd 3&4: 19/20 April, Boyland, QLD
Rd 5&6: 3/4 May, Hedley, VIC
Rd 7&8: 21/22 June, Coonawarra, SA
Rd 9&10: 19/20 July, Kyogle, NSW
Rd 11&12: 6/7 September, Heathcote, VIC