2018 Hattah Dessert Race Preview

4 months ago | Words: KTM Australia, Husqvarna Australia | Photos: Wilkinson Photography

It’s that time of the year again… Hattah time! Situated near Mildura and spanning over four hours in duration, the Hattah Desert Race is one of the must-win events on the Australian dirt bike schedule, and at around 30 minutes per lap and with eight of those to conquer, it is regarded as one of the toughest races of all. 

Fresh from dominating last month’s Finke Desert Race, KTM is carrying high hopes into Hattah with Australian Off-Road Championship contenders Milner and Snodgrass, both armed with powerful and race-proven KTM 500 EXC-F machinery. Last year at Hattah saw Milner claim a convincing win in his first appearance with KTM, charging to victory in the four-hour affair and successfully managing his Type 1 diabetes in a special result for the 26-year-old Victorian. Joining him on the all-KTM podium one year ago in third position was Snodgrass, aiming to improve further upon the result this time out.

Daniel Milner – KTM 500 EXC-F: “Last year, since I hadn’t done Hattah for so long, it was a hard race and it’s good to know what I’m up against this time around. It’s helped me out a lot more, getting the right bike set-up and everything is falling into place really nicely for us at the moment. I know what I have to do to get out there and get on the top step of the podium. It is such an important race to win and it is a really big achievement for me, especially with Type 1 diabetes – it tests me as a rider on the track and also with my diabetes. If I can win again that would be unreal, so we will give it 110 percent and see what happens on Sunday!”

Lyndon Snodgrass – KTM 500 EXC-F: “I’m really keen for this weekend and it’s been a big lead-up for us, with a really solid few weeks coming in. Finishing third last year was pretty awesome to stand on the podium, so I’m looking forward to trying to improve upon that. The biggest challenge at Hattah is that it’s four hours long, so you have to keep up the pace the whole way and not get tired. At the same time, with so many riders on the track together, you have to make sure you get through cleanly and stay consistent.”

Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team duo Daniel Sanders and Fraser Higlett are heading to the 2018 Hattah Desert Race this weekend. Both boys have that top spot in their sights. Sanders has finished second outright at Hattah for the past two years running, establishing himself as one of the pre-race favourites aboard the Husqvarna FE 501. And alongside him, in a new-look Hattah roster, Higlett will pilot the Husqvarna FE 450 after finishing runner-up in the Under 19s division one, year ago. Both are stepping up in capacity compared to their usual Australian Off-Road Championship race bikes. Both Sanders and Higlett have put in an immense amount of preparation with the Husqvarna Motorcycles Australian factory squad in the led up to the event, and are ready to race.

Christian Horwood – Team manager, Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team: “We’ve put a lot of preparation into this event and have had quite a long break since the last round of AORC. Both ‘Chucky’ and Fraser are actually riding different bikes to what they’re usually on in the off-roads, on the FE 501 and FE 450 respectively. They’re both very comfortable and are keen to get into the race on Sunday, so it will be really good for us as a team. This is a very important race for the team and we’re hoping Chucky can challenge for the outright win after finishing second for the past two years. I believe this is the toughest race in the country, being four hours in the sand and with a high level of intensity. We have to make sure it all goes to plan, everything runs smoothly and we should be in there at the end.”

Stay tuned in to the Transmoto website, Facebook and Instagram channels for a full 2018 Hattah recap early next week.

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