-- Grabham wraps up Tri-Series
HSE Motorex KTM Off-Road Team racer Ben Grabham became the first ever WA Desert
Racing Tri-Series champion today, when the series concluded at Kumarina Station
200 kilometres from Newman in the Pilbara Region of WA today.
Grabham’s domination of the event and the series was complete after he powered
the new 2014 KTM500EXC to victory, topping the sheets in Friday’s Prologue
before winning both Saturday and Sunday’s 200+ kilometre stages, winning the
round from Todd Smith, HSE Motorex KTM team mates Matt Fish and Broc Grabham,
with Jehi Willis fifth.
In winning at Kumarina as well as at Doorawarra Station near Carnarvon and at
Indee Station near Port Headland, the newly crowned E3 Australian Enduro
Champion from Bathurst picked up the $20,000 bonus prize on offer to the rider
who could win all three rounds.
Team mate Matt Fish’s podium finish elevated him from tenth to fifth in the
inaugural series, while Ben’s 19-year-old brother Broc Grabham made an
impressive Tri-Series debut on the HSE Motorex KTM500EXC.
The series format challenged competitors with three days of desert racing action
per round, utilising a 10-kilometre Prologue on the Friday followed by
approximately 500 kilometres of racing across Saturday and Sunday, and
incorporating everything from wide-open desert expanses to slower more technical
terrain like riverbed, hills and rock outcrops.
Grabham chose the KTM500EXC as his series mount for its fantastic combination of
versatility and outright power, and has proven the machine to be unstoppable
BEN GRABHAM (PL:1, S1:1, S2:1) “I had pretty much another perfect run. It was
important to qualify well because of the dust and on Stage One I opened about a
10-minute lead over Todd, and today just didn’t do anything silly and pulled
probably another five today. It's awesome to win the whole thing, but it’s been
such a whirlwind operation that it really hasn't sunk in yet. The whole series
was perfect and I couldn't be any happier with the 2014 500EXC. Danny at KTM
gave the suspension a few tweaks and it just handled so good on a track which
went from 170kph straights to first and second gear rocky creek beds."
MATT FISH (PL:5, S1:3, S2:3) “It would have been nice to give Benny a push but
third is good and it moved me up to fifth in the series. The venue was really
good, it was extremely dusty and the track fell apart in some places and went to
bulldust which made it tricky but it was well laid out and good fun. This series
was very well received by the riders so it will get bigger and better in the
future for sure. I’ve now got a few weeks off before I do the Australian Safari
on the 500 EXC. My best result was third there in 2010 and I’m really excited to
take my Dakar experience into it, it’s given me a lot of confidence."
BROC GRABHAM (PL:4, S1:5, S2:4) “It was a different kind of challenge for me and
different to everything else I’ve done but I had some fun. Things were a bit
dusty from the start and I wasn't sure the 11-litre tank would go right round so
we did the 50k fuel stop and Fish got by me and I ate his dust for the rest of
lap. Todd got past me and I calmed down and tried to get into my groove and
passed a guy on the last lap. Today I started fifth and struggled with the dust
again and made another pass five kilometres from the finish. I definitely want
to come back and do the whole series with a bit more preparation so we can give
Ben a run!"