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2019 King of Finke: David Walsh

5 months ago | Words: KTM Australia | Photos: KTM Australia

Alice Springs local Walsh, 29, finished runner-up to KTM legend Toby Price last year. However, this time around, the primary focus of KTM Australia’s factory effort was placed firmly upon Walsh and the bulletproof KTM 500 EXC-F. Walsh dominated Saturday’s prologue to secure pole position, prior to setting the pace from Alice Springs to Finke on Sunday. He held a buffer of five minutes overnight and managed to maintain that advantage on return leg, concluding the mammoth 460-kilometre journey in a total time of 3h 56m 01s. Making Walsh’s result all the more remarkable is the fact that this was his 12th attempt, his unrelenting desire to taste victory finally realised as part of the all-conquering North Star Pastoral KTM Desert Racing Team. His outright victory also saw him credited with top honours in Class 2.

Glenn Kearney – Motorsport Manager, KTM Australia: “I’m stoked for the whole North Star Pastoral KTM Desert Racing Team, especially David – he’s been at it for a long time and there’s always something that seems to get in the way, so it’s a pretty emotional victory for him. The whole team was behind him and he did it quite convincingly. It could’ve been quite easy for Callum to give up down there after a big spill, knowing he had a gruelling 220 kilometres ahead of him, but he managed to come back through and make his way to fifth. It shows what he’s made of and I think the kid has a big future with KTM. The team this week featured 28 staff members who all come from within the brand, so it’s a big crew that comes together to make it happen. To have Callum show true grit and determination and Walshy earn the win, it’s definitely rewarding.”

David Walsh – KTM 500 EXC-F: “I’m just completely blown away and I’m over the moon with getting my first win here at Finke. It’s truly a credit to the North Star Pastoral KTM Desert Racing Team, because without those guys, I wouldn’t be here. They work around the clock and it’s like a big family – I can’t thank them enough for their efforts. Getting down to Finke with a five-minute lead made it easier for me, I knew I could probably get through the rough stuff a bit easier coming home, and that’s what I did. I’m so happy to finally get it after the 12 years that I’ve been trying and it’s an amazing feeling.”


2019 Finke Desert Race results:
1. David Walsh (KTM)
2. Jacob Smith (Husqvarna)
3. Beau Ralston (Husqvarna)
4. Jack Simpson (Honda)
5. Callum Norton (KTM)


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