‘King of the Desert ‘ Toby Price sets Prologue fastest lap
Toby Price has set the fastest lap time on the 8.3km Prologue track on his KTM, putting him on course for a record-breaking sixth Tatts Finke Desert Race title, and further reaffirming his title, ‘Five-time King of the Desert’.
The 2016 Dakar champion will attempt the Iron Man Finke Double at this year’s event, aiming to make history by winning both car and bike categories. He will start fourth in the car division.
Price edged out 2017 runner-up Ivan Long by just four tenths of a second, with both riders setting a remarkable sub-five minute lap of the track.
“That was a crazy close prologue for us but stoked to come out on top. We caught some pretty crazy dust but surprisingly after two years since I last raced the bike out here I could still feel my way through those tricky sections. This is a huge step in the right direction for the iron man double and I’m looking forward to a massive day tomorrow!”
Crowd-favourite Jacob Smith came in third in his tenth Finke campaign with Alice Springs local Luke Hayes just 1.9 seconds behind him in fourth position. Sam Davie prologued in fifth position followed by fellow-Victorian Nathan Trigg in sixth place, while South Australians Kent Collins and Danny Leane finished in seventh and eighth respectively.
Four-time Finke winner Ben Grabham was a surprise inclusion in the top ten, setting the ninth fastest time. The Bathurst local is back to compete in this year’s event after a three year hiatus. Victoria’s Callum Norton rounded out the top ten with a lap time of 5 minutes, 14.6 seconds.
Local favourite David Walsh had a disappointing run, prologuing in 28th position ahead of tomorrow’s highly-anticipated 2018 edition of the iconic event. AFL legend and regular Tatts Finke Desert Race competitor Tony ‘Plugger’ Lockett prologued in 397th position out of the 583 bikes that started today.
The lights will go out for leg one of the bikes event at the 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race at 11.45am Sunday. The field will travel 226km to Finke before returning on Monday to crown the 2018 King of the Desert.
Price and his Navigator Jason Duncan, drove the Red Bull Trophy Truck first thing Saturday morning on the Alice Springs Prologue track.
Price finished 4th Outright in the Truck Category, and 3rd in the X2WD Class, with a time of 04:55.5, just 11.1 seconds from the overall lead.
2018 Finke Desert Bike & Quad Prologue Results
- PRICE, TOBY – KTM – 00:04:58.0
- LONG, IVAN – HUSQVARNA – 00:04:58.4
- SMITH, JACOB – HONDA – 00:05:00.1
- HAYES, LUKE – KTM – 00:05:05.4
- DAVIE, SAM – HUSQVARNA – 00:05:07.3
- TRIGG, NATHAN – SHERCO – 00:05:11.2
- COLLINS, KENT – KTM – 00:05:13.0
- LEANE, DANNY – HUSQVARNA – 00:05:14.3
- GRABHAM, BEN – BETA – 00:05:14.4
- NORTON, CALLUM – HONDA – 00:05:14.6