After 10 rounds of strenuous racing at five different locations in four different states, the final two rounds of the Australian Off-Road Championship will take place this weekend at Penshurst in the southwest of Victoria.
It has been an extremely arduous year for the Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team. A fire destroyed the entire Team’s hardware after round 2 which made competing for the remainder of the year extremely difficult. Injuries to team rider Justin Carafa also hampered the Team but to the credit of the riders, mechanic and the rider’s families Sherco has been on track and in the mix at every single round.
“It’s an amazing achievement by the Team to get to the final rounds this weekend,” stated Sherco Australia’s Stephen Tuff. “The Team has been up against it all year but the riders have put in the hard yards to make it count. Our Team coordinator and chief mechanic Dave Suter is a machine. His bikes are top notch and he busts his arse to keep the Team competitive.”
The shining light of the Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team in 2016 has been Wil Ruprecht. Having just celebrated his 18th birthday, Ruprecht holds the Under-19 Class points lead and is poised to finish the Championship off in fine form.
“Wil is riding unreal at the moment,” said Team coordinator Dave Suter. “He’s looking really fit and he’s flying on the 450. He has the points lead and he just needs to ride clean and consistent this weekend and he’ll be fine.”
Ruprecht holds an 18-point lead and intends to stretch the margin at Saturday’s cross country event.
Sherco is also looking forward to cheering on Derek Grundy in the Masters Class and Bjorn Osborne in the Veterans Class. Grundy has been outstanding this year finishing no lower than 2nd in every AORC event he has contested. A broken collar bone sidelined the over-45 class contender for 4 rounds, however, Grundy is just 2 points shy of second place in the Championship. Meanwhile, Osborne has been the rider to beat in the 35-44 years Class and enters this weekend with a very handy 28-point lead.
“It’s fantastic to have two Sherco riders right in the mix of the age classes,” stated Sherco Australia’s Stephen Tuff. “Bjorn and Derek are great competitors who are proving Sherco enduro bikes are capable of running at the front. We wish both rider well for this weekend.”