It was another perfect weekend for KTM DM31 Racing's Daniel Milner as he dominated both rounds of the 2024 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) in Edenhope, while teammate Tom Buxton finished both days on the E1 podium, and Riley McGillivray did enough to retain his E3 Class points lead.

Milner and his KTM 450 EXC-F blasted around the dry, sandy sprint tests to claim the top spot of both the E2 class and the outright standings on each day. The KTM DM31 Racing team owner-rider remains unbeaten in his class this year upon return to domestic competition, as the series heads into its mid-season break.

In the E1 class, KTM DM31 Racing rider Buxton continued to prove he’s able to readily adapt to Australia’s demanding conditions with a brace of impressive P3 results after two days of intense racing. Aboard the KTM 250 EXC-F, Buxton maintained pressure on the class leaders across both days, despite the deep dust and sand being an entirely new battleground for him.

Meanwhile, E3 class leader McGillivray experienced two difficult days, but the defending class champion showed plenty of determination to finish with as many points as possible. A crash at the start of the opening test of the weekend saw him injure his shoulder, but he soldiered through the day to finish P5. Sunday’s sixth round saw McGillivray’s troubles continue, finishing the day P9.

The AORC now takes a six-week break, returning with the Queensland Moto Park rounds at the end of July. In the meantime, the KTM-backed riders will all line up for the high-profile Hattah Desert Race on 7-9 July.

Daniel Milner: “There were some seriously dusty, dry conditions for us this weekend, but it went really smoothly. I tried to stay consistent and not make any mistakes or have any moments, and it all came together for me. I’m feeling stronger and fitter now that my injury is behind me, and the team ran a really tight ship all weekend. That made it easy for me to keep pushing and charging out the front of the field. We might have a break in the AORC now, but there’s no relaxing for us – we’ve got the first round of GNCCs next weekend, then Hattah at the start of July. We’ll keep our foot down, train hard and get ourselves into a good routine.”

Tom Buxton: “The conditions were way different to anything I’ve ridden before. The dust and fine sand were that deep it covered all the ruts, which were actually quite hard underneath. I struggled a bit both days, but I felt I got better as the weekend went on, both with my confidence riding those conditions, and with our bike set-up. It was a tough weekend, so I’m pretty happy to have finished on the podium both days.”

Riley McGillivray: “It was a rough weekend for me. I had a tip-over about one minute into the first test and tweaked my shoulder. I strapped it up and kept soldiering through. I was off the pace of the front guys, but I still finished with okay points, all things considered. Today I planned to bounce back, but we did end up having more issues. I was that far back there was no point pushing – a top 10 result is better than a DNF – so I cruised around to ninth. I’ve lost all the breathing room I’d built in the points so far this season and that puts the pressure on, but I know what I’m capable of and we’ll go back to work when the series resumes.”