What is widely regarded by many as Australia’s toughest desert race staged at Hattah, just south of Mildura, has been run and won on the weekend with Daniel Milner emerging victorious in what was an all Austrian podium. Milner on KTM, Semmens on GASGAS and Norton on Husqvarna. Positions four and five were also on KTM machinery, Lachlan Terry fourth ahead of Liam Mason.
The Prologue saw Milner take the fastest time from Mason Semmens, with Lachlan Terry third overall. Kale Makeham was fourth and Alex Bolton fifth, with Maximus Purvis, Aaron Mason, Hunter Semmens, RIley Graham and Liam Mason rounding out the top-10.
The Top-10 Shootout would see Milner remain fastest, from Mason Semmens, Kale Makeham, Maximus Purvis and Riley Graham.
When it came to the main event, Milner won his third-career Hattah Desert Race after taking the 2021 honours in commanding fashion, ahead of Semmens and Callum Norton.
Milner, 29, started from first position for Sunday’s four-hour marathon and never looked back, racing aboard his KTM 500 EXC-F, swapping positions for the lead in the opening laps before eventually pulling clear at the front of the field.
Milner recorded a total time of 4h13m17.670s following eight fast-paced laps of the gruelling 37-kilometre course, pitting a total of four times and crossing the finish with a 38.846s advantage.
Daniel Milner – P1
“We were really happy to be back at Hattah, to win the Prologue and go fastest in the Top 10 Shootout was really good. Today was a fun race actually, battling with Mason [Semmens] in those opening laps brought a lot of excitement, and to go on and win my third Hattah was big for me. After the pit stops changed things up we ended up riding by ourselves, but he kept me honest the whole way and that kept the focus going – I had to step it up on that final lap to make sure he didn’t get by me! The KTM 500 EXC-F was perfect for the race, we didn’t have our usual team with us because of the border restrictions, but everybody involved did such a good job to bring it all together. It was a gnarly race, probably one of the roughest we’ve had, so it’s a really good feeling to get the win here today.”
Mason Semmens proved consistent all weekend, topping his 251cc-450cc 4-Stroke class, while also running runner-up across the weekend.
Mason Semmens – P2
“Done for 2021! First in class and second outright. First two laps with Daniel Milner was some of the funnest racing I’ve done, stoked with how today went! Thanks to everyone who makes this possible!”
A gritty third podium went to Husqvarna Racing Team rider Callum Norton, after fighting hard for the result from qualifying outside of the top 20.
Norton clawed his way into the top three with third outright on his Husqvarna FE 501, after it didn’t go to plan for the 20-year-old as he not only missed the Top 10 Shootout in qualifying, but had to settle for 22nd place after being caught out by traffic on the course.
Norton sliced his way through the pack from the outset, overcame issues with his water supply early on and then charged to the third position with a total time of 4h21m57.996s.
Callum Norton – P3
“It was a tough race because I didn’t put in the best of laps yesterday, so we started 22nd and just had to go to work today. Everything went pretty smooth from the beginning, we were up to fifth by the end of lap one and I was able to get into a rhythm, keep ticking away from there. I was still confident that we would be strong today, the Husqvarna Racing Team has put in a huge effort for this race and the FE 501 is as good as it gets, so it was good to rebound for a strong result when it counted. The podium was the aim and that’s where we ended up!”
Behind the top-three, it was Lachlan Terry and Liam Mason rounding out the top-five, while Riley Graham, Alex Bolton, Cooper Sheidow, Samuel Pretscherer and Hunter Semmens completed the top-10.
Mason Semmens won the 251cc-450cc 4-Stroke class from Liam Mason and Riley Graham. Samuel Pretscherer was top Under 19, ahead of Riley McGillivray and Jack Colbart. Blake Hollis was fastest Up-to 250cc 4-Stroke, from Kyron Bacon and William Price.
In the 251cc & Over 2-Stroke Jonte Reynders won from Nathan Lamb and Blake Balls. Lee Stephens won the Veterans class from Warren Carroll and Ben Greenwood, while in the Ladies 8 Lap it was Emma Milesevic from Madison Brown and Danielle Foot. Harrison Wooding took the Up-to 250cc 2-Stroke win, from Liam Hildebrand and Alan Graham.
The Masters was won by Brandon Keinhuis from Michael Widdison and Darren Lessio, while in the Ladies 4 Lap Tegan Hall won from Kellie Catanese and Monique Simioni.
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