With just over two weeks remaining until the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) kicks off for Rounds 1 & 2 in Toowoomba, Queensland, 2018 E1 Champion Luke Styke (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) is chomping at the bit for racing to commence. 2018 treated Styke to a showstopping AORC season, jumping across from Motocross (MX) to Enduro.
Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the 2018 season and his plans for 2019, Styke chatted with Motorcycling Australia on his three goals for the new season, his new Yamaha YZ and his new life as a father!
With 2018 being your first year at AORC and then taking out the E1 championship, how are you finding the Enduro discipline after moving across from MX?
The transition has been really smooth and taking out the E1 Championship title last year was the icing on the cake. I found last year that I relied heavily on my MX skills to get through each weekend however I found myself gradually adapting to the changing riding styles and track conditions.
What did you get up to in your off season?
The off season has seen me become a new dad, whilst also working on my new Yamaha YZ. There’s no juggling of caring for my son and working on my AORC training, so the off season has been fantastic in both being a dad and working on the new bike.
Coming from an MX background, are you still finding time to continue riding recreationally or competitively in MX?
I’ve really upped the ante in the off season by riding almost completely in Off-Road and Enduro.
Most of my old training mates and friends continue to ride MX so I still get out and ride with them, but right now I am focussing heavily on developing my Off-Road skills and getting the most I can out of the 2019 season.
What are your plans for the 2019 season? Are you aiming to make it back to back titles in the E1 class?
My of my main goals for 2019 is achieving back-to-back titles in the E1 class. I’m also working on landing consistently throughout the season in the top three fastest times, which I couldn’t do last year due primarily to my inexperience. I’ve been working hard in the off season to develop my riding and fitness, so I’m confident that I can achieve that goal!
My third goal for the season is to be picked for Team Australia’s ISDE World Trophy Team!
Who do you think will be your biggest competition in 2019?
I think everyone will bring something new to the table in 2019, so anyone I competed against in the E1 class for 2018 will definitely continue to be my biggest competition. Coming into 2019 with one year under my belt, I feel pretty confident about maintaining the title!
I’m super excited to get the racing underway and start getting some results rolling in!
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC Website at aorc.org.au, or by following the Yamaha AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Images courtesy of John Pearson Media