Toby Price wins Hattah Desert Race from Green & Calvin
KTM Desert Racing Team rider Toby Price has backed up his win in the Finke Desert Race with victory in the second of Australia’s two big winter desert races, the KTM Hattah Desert Race.
Price won the race by almost two minutes over Josh Green, while his two KTM Desert Racing Team mates Louis Calvin (filling in for injured Ben Grabham) and Ivan Long continued the team’s spectacular start, finishing third and fourth overall.
The result also completed the second trifecta in as many weeks for KTM’s sublime 500 EXC after it last week dominated the opening round of the Desert Racing Tri-Series – the Kumarina 500.
Calvin’s podium was an eye-opening debut appearance for the WA motocross ace, recruited by Grabham as a last-minute substitute.
Fresh out of juniors, 450 class rookie Wayde Carter took third in E2 along with 8th outright on his KTM 450 EXC, while Nic Tomlinson powered his KTM 250 SXF to a big class win in E1.
Other KTM-mounted Hattah winners included Nathan Trigg ahead of Liam Clover in the Under 250cc_2 Stroke class, while KTM 300 EXC-mounted pair Harrison Norton and Tim Vandenberg were one and two in the Over 250_2S class.
In the Ladies ranks Tayla Jones won her class by over eith minutes, then went on to complete the longer Men’s race distance to finish 35th outright.
Toby Price: “I’m stoked with the win, the KTM Desert Team worked really hard and well. Our only little bit of drama came at the end of lap three when we thought we were going to make two laps no worries, but I ran out of fuel with probably two kays to go. I tipped the bike on its side to get more fuel in it and it got to about 50 metres off the line and I had to run it the rest, so it was a bit of a close call, but we came out on top so that’s what matters. Overall it was a good result for the whole team and I was stoked to see Louis get on the podium at his first desert race, and Ivan did well also.”
Louis Calvin: “It was good fun, tough all the way through, but I’m so happy with the result. Starting off fifth was good, I was trying to figure out what the go was, the guys and everyone helping out were so good. Mid-race I was feeling pretty good and put a charge in and got up from fifth to third, and managed to maintain that. The 500 was awesome and I’d love to keep riding it, I’m so thankful for the opportunity the KTM Desert Racing Team gave me to have a go and hopefully there’s more to come.”
Ivan Long: “I had a big off on the last lap, one of the biggest I’ve had in a long time. I knew Jarrod was coming and I upped my pace, and coming into a rough corner after a really long straight, a lapper who was on the outside stepped out right in my path and I hit him. It was a good 50kmh and I cartwheeled. I took this massive bush out and got up to turning a 360 to figure a, where I was and b, where the bike was! I’d bent everything, but I hammered what I could into line – it was shonky as – and I re-caught Jarrod for fourth. Sore and sorry now but.”
Ben Grabham, Team Manager: “We started off pretty well here and Toby got the lead from the get go. We had a little bit of a fuel scare on lap three and had to go back to fuelling each lap, but apart from that he was faultless. He’s amazing in those conditions and obviously the 500 EXC makes his job a little bit easier. It was great to be able to bring over Louis and stick him on my bike and he’s done me proud there with third outright. Ivan’s definitely running a good pace and improving as he has all year. I can’t say enough for the whole team. Mikey’s had a big two three weeks, driving all the way to the top of WA and then all the way across Australia, as well as getting the bikes ready!”
Tayla Jones: “I’m pretty stoked to get the win this year. I was second last year and I wanted my number one plate back! To continue on and get 35th outright I was pretty stoked to get that too. The first lap I decided to overtake as many as I could, and then just settle in. I found the track a lot more fun this year and I stayed upright the whole race so I was happy with that. Hattah is one of the biggest races of the year and to win the Women’s here and at Finke is something I’m pretty happy with.“
KTM Hattah Desert Race Provisional Results:
- Toby PRICE 3:41:37.177
- Josh GREEN 3:43:21.795
- Louis CALVIN 3:46:54.014
- Ivan LONG 3:50:14.286
- Jarrod BEWLEY 3:50:18.829
- Glenn KEARNEY 3:55:16.295
- Nathan TRIGG 3:57:25.874
- Wayde CARTER 3:58:03.560
- Todd SMITH 3:59:49.492
- Broc GRABHAM 4:01:36.812
Active8 Yamaha Report
Active8 Yamaha’s Josh Green has finished second outright in the 2014 Hattah Desert race ran over the weekend.
The four hour off road event, ran in the red sands of Hattah in western Victoria, saw Green locked in an intense battle with Toby price for outright honours. The pair qualified in the top two spots and the battle continued as racing got underway on Sunday.
Green clawed his way to the front in the early going and held a small margin over Price before he was slugged with a one minute penalty for going too fast in a caution area. The penalty bought the duo together again and the rivals went bar to bar until Green hit a stump and cartwheeled his bike down the track.
Slightly dazed after the fall, Green wasn’t able to regain the same speed as before and was forced to settle for second place outright but he still managed to secure the win in the E2 division (450cc bikes).
“Toby and I had a really good race going and I was enjoying battling with him. The conditions were perfect out there and my bike was going awesome so it was a shame that I crashed otherwise I felt that we would have banged bars all the way to the finish.
“The one minute penalty was my fault and I had to cop it sweet. It’s not often we get flags in off road and I didn’t take the right action when it came out.
“But, it was a good weekend and the Active8 team were right behind me and the YZ450F was perfect. I look forward to racing here again next year,” Green said.
It was a tough weekend for team mate Tom McCormack. McCormack had a huge fall during qualifying and was able only manage 19th place for the start of the race on Sunday.
McCormack was in mood for mucking around on race day and instantly starting climbing through the field. By lap three, McCormack had moved into third place and was charging hard but his relentless climb came to a halt not long after.
His aggressive racing in the deep sand fried his clutch. With his clutch done, McCormack was unable to finish the event.
“It was an ugly weekend all round for me. The crash in qualifying had me well down the list and as a result, I had to ride really hard in the opening laps to try and get some clean air and good track position.
“The clutch issue was my fault. I just swung off it when I should have just settled down and realised this is a four hour race, not a four minute one. But, I will be better for it next year and hopefully I can come back and redeem myself and get on the podium for the team,” McCormack states.
The Active8 Yamaha team now switch back into AORC mode with the final rounds of the Australian Off Road Championship to be ran in the coming weeks and months.
Husaberg Enduro Racing Team rider Jarrod Bewley didn’t quite get the result he craved, but had a successful weekend nonetheless at the weekend’s KTM Hattah Desert Race, finishing fifth outright.
The event which takes place south of Mildura in north-western Victoria is the second of Australia’s two big winter desert races, and though the Husaberg ace was unable to match last year’s second outright finish, he did also take away the trophy for second in the E2 category for up to 450cc four-strokes.
Toby Price won the race in a time of three hours 41 minutes, ahead of Josh Green and Louis Calvin.
Bewley’s team mate Geoff Braico had never experienced the high speeds of Hattah before, but loved his first taste of the event.
He recovered from a 18th place Prologue finish and had powered the FE 450 to as high as seventh outright when a rear wheel issue arose on his last lap, and he was forced to retire.
Jarrod Bewley – FE450 – “I got second in class and fifth outright which wasn’t too bad. Thirteenth in the Prologue made it hard for me to start with, and then in the race it took me two laps to get into the groove. The track was nowhere near as moist as last year, so it was blowing out a bit, with big square edges. Once I got my head around it I started putting in some good laps and made my way back towards the finish. It wasn’t a bad result in the finish. It would have been nice to be up there straight away but it doesn’t always happen that way.”
Geoff Braico – FE450 – “I’d just passed for seventh overall and I was third in class with half a lap to go, but it just wasn’t to be. First time doing Hattah and I prologued 18th – just wasn’t sure what I was doing – but got all over it and I was having an absolute ball. The race was awesome, the bike was awesome and everybody in the pit crew was awesome. All I can do is just build on it and take the positives, and to be running seventh overall in my first Hattah, when everything was brand new to me, I’d never even thought about those kinds of speeds before – I’m pretty happy with that. Some of the parts like the super fast sandy stuff was quite scary, but 90% of the track was awesome, I had so much fun.”
While Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager and lead rider Glenn Kearney has recovered from a gastro-intestinal sickness which laid the whole team low 48 hours before the event to salvage an impressive sixth in the KTM Hattah Desert Race south of Mildura.
All three riders and mechanic Christian Horwood were unable to stomach food across Thursday night and Friday, with Scott Keegan the worst hit, still vomiting on the Saturday before the famous event which was won by Toby Price, from Josh Green and Louis Calvin.
Husqvarna FE 450-mounted Lachlan Stanford was the team’s top qualifier in 6th, outshining the boss, former winner Glenn Kearney 8th, but unfortunately went out of the event with a tyre failure in its latter half while running tenth.
After a 48-hour lead-in spent more in the rest room than not, Scott Keegan’s found his luck didn’t improve any in the race, running out of fuel late in the third lap.
Late in the race Kearney began to suffer the effects of a very sparse energy intake over the previous days, and he was forced to push through cramps to the finish for a hard-earned sixth place, and fourth in the E3 class.
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney – FE 501 “All four of us including Christian our mechanic came down with a virus or something on Thursday night and Friday and none of us could keep food down. We were able to eat again on Saturday, but the damage was done. That’s an important 24-hour window before a 4-hour race on one of the toughest tracks. We all loaded up on Hydrolite and food for the race but it was all too little too late, unfortunately. Lucky it happened then and not Friday or Saturday night I guess, but it’s disappointing all the same. I started okay, but by the third lap cramps set in and it was just a matter of trying to keep going. I ended up sixth and fourth in the 500 class, so, not too bad.”
Lachlan Stanford FE 450 “For my first Hattah it was awesome, I was loving it for the first four laps. It’s a real cool track with big loam berms, and the bike felt unreal, just perfect. At one point me and Broc Grabham had a big drag down one of the massive straights, and we were side by side at probably 145-150kph and that was my 450 against a 500, so that was alright! The result didn’t go our way, but the setup was cool, the team went well, I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to having another crack at it.”
Scott Keegan – FE 250 “We had a bit of a shocking lead up, we were all pretty sick. Glenn and Lachy recovered a little quicker than me and were getting food down earlier. I hadn’t eaten much before the race, I was just sort of living off biscuits and didn’t have any energy at all. The first lap I was pretty flat, but then I sparked up once I got through a few people in front of me and started to find a groove. It was just a shame about the miscalculation on the fuel side of things. I think my first lap just wasn’t a clean one with all the traffic so we probably got a false reading for when things opened up a bit more, and I ran out about ten minutes short. Big thanks to Glenn and Krystal for looking after us when we were all sick. I spent more time on the toilet seat than on my bike seat this weekend.”