CDR Yamaha Off Road’s Chris Hollis and Tom McCormack both took a conservative approach at the opening rounds of the Australian Off Road Championship (AORC), held at Kilkivan in Queensland over the weekend.
The sprint format used on the weekend saw both riders ensure they had a safe and smooth run on each day and can now look to build momentum as the championship moves on.
For Hollis, the hot, dusty and humid conditions didn’t suit the veteran off road rider and using his wealth of experience, he elected to get through the weekend unscathed and not risk injury at the very first round of the championship.
Hollis understands that it is a 12 round championship and he wasn’t going to do anything that would jeopardize his chance at the championship further down the track. He claimed sixth outright on Saturday, then improved one spot to take fifth on Sunday.
He sits in sixth place after two rounds but is lurking dangerously with only a handful of points separating several riders.
In E2 class standings, Hollis sits third on his WR450F after the opening weekend of racing.
“The conditions didn’t really suit me so I raced fairly conservatively all weekend with the aim of putting myself in contention, not knocking myself out of contention,” Hollis explained. “I also understand that I can’t do 12 rounds of that and expect to win a championship but now we are under way, I will pick things up and make my presence felt,” he warned.
For team mate, Tom McCormack, it was his first race back after 12 months on the sidelines with serious injury and getting through the weekend unscathed was at the top of his priority list. Add to the fact that McCormack has moved up to the E2 division for the first time, it was a toe in the water type weekend for McCormack and the CDR Yamaha team.
To his credit, McCormack improved as the weekend went on. He claimed 13th outright on Saturday, eighth in class but stepped it up on Sunday to take 11th outright and a very respectable fourth in class.
“It’s good to be back and even better to get through the weekend without any issues,” McCormack said with relief. “It wasn’t the fastest I have ever raced but it was good to get back out there and get a race under my belt at this level and I’m sure it will do me good.
“Saturday I rode pretty tight and was a bit nervous, Sunday was better and a step in the right direction. If I can continue to improve like that each round I will be happy so I will just focus on one round at a time and do the best I can,” he concludes.
Team Manager, Craig Dack, understands the conservative start to the season by his riders but knows both have plenty more to give in the coming rounds.
“Chris rode well within himself over the weekend and I’m sure he can unlock plenty more speed in the coming rounds. Tom just needed to get this weekend done and dusted with no dramas and get some confidence back in his body and racing, which is exactly what he did.
“I think you will see both guys really up the intensity at the next round and start to make some moves up the championship standings,” Dack said.
Rounds three and four of the championship will be conducted at Port Land in NSW on April 9 and 10.
For a full list of results from the opening rounds; http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1242136
Main Photo: Chris Hollis working his way through rocky section at the AORC on the weekend Credit: Mad Dog Images Report Credit: Fullnoise.au.com
AORC Results – After Round 2
OUTRIGHT 1st Daniel Sanders 2nd Josh Green 3rd Lachlan Stanford 4th Tye Simmonds 5th Beau Ralston 6th Chris Hollis (CDR Yamaha) 11th Tom McCormack (CDR Yamaha)
E2 (450cc) 1st Josh Green 2nd Tye Simmonds 3rd Chris Hollis (WR450F) 4th Tom McCormack (WR450F)