The conditions might have varied wildly at rounds nine and ten of the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) at Kingston SE, but KTM off-road riders Jye Dickson and Emelie Karlsson remained constant class podium finishers across both days of racing.
Aboard his KTM 500 EXC-F, AORC newcomer Jye Dickson finished the weekend with a brace of third-place results in the ever-competitive E3 category.
The 22-year-old Newcastle resident and motocross specialist only raced his first off-road event at the previous round in Mendooran, NSW, but impressed many with his speed and received the call-up to replace the injured Stefan Granquist.
Despite facing a vast range of weather conditions on Saturday and tight, technical and rutted sprint stages on Sunday, Dickson took it all in his stride to finish a comfortable third on both days.
In the EW class, Emelie Karlsson pushed through the pain barrier of two recent knee injuries to be rewarded with two second-place finishes over the two rounds of competition.
Despite encountering the full scale of weather conditions yesterday and several mistakes throughout the event, Karlsson and her KTM 350 EXC-F continued to feature at the front of the women’s class to take the runner-up position.
Sunday’s tests threw up different challenges in the form of deep ruts and whooped-out sandy sections. Even though she rarely felt comfortable with the conditions, Karlsson continued to focus forward and again finished second in her class.
In addition, KTM-mounted Cooper Sheidow impressed many with two podium positions in the competitive E1 ranks with 2-3 results, while Victoria’s Riley McGillivray stormed to the EJ class win on Saturday and Sunday.
The final two rounds of the AORC will be held at Wynyard, Tasmania, between 8-9 October.
Jye Dickson: “Kingston SE was only my second-ever AORC event, so I’m still learning a lot and I’m really enjoying that part of the process. On Saturday we had to battle through a lot of weather conditions, but I’m happy with how I rode, and getting used to riding through trees and over logs. Sunday’s tests were trickier with long ruts and had a lot more of an enduro feel to them. Even though I finished third at my first AORC at Mendooran, I didn’t have too many expectations coming into this weekend - I didn’t want to put pressure on myself, and focused more on getting used to a new style of racing and a new bike. To finish with two podiums is pretty satisfying.”
Emelie Karlsson: “I injured my knee before the ISDE, then hurt the other while racing the ISDE, so having two sore legs made this weekend a lot harder, and I made a lot more mistakes than I usually would! Even though the weather yesterday was crazy, I was more relaxed and trusted myself and my riding, and that meant I was able to push more for wins, but a few crashes let me down. Today’s tests were very tight and I just never felt comfortable, which made for a rough day. All in all, I’m not entirely happy with my performance this weekend, but I’m excited to head to Tasmania for the first time and finish this season strongly.”