Active8 Yamaha’s Beau Ralston finished a commendable fifth outright and second in class at the Finke Desert race held near Alice Springs.
Ralston produced a good performance in what is one of Australia’s toughest and unique events as more than 400 riders compete on a 460 kilometre course over two days in a mad dash to determine the winner.
After experiencing a crash during pre-running the course and then a slow start to the run down to Finke on day one where he sat in seventh place, Ralston picked up the pace on the return to Alice Springs, beating his previous personal best time, and landed in fifth place outright when he crosed the finishline.
His combined times were good enough for second place in the 251cc to 450cc bike category, a result that satisfied Beau and his Active8 Yamaha team.
“It’s a tough event,” Ralston said at the end of day two, “but it’s also a lot of fun and one that requires a huge effort from everyone on the team. The run down to Finke wasn’t great as I had a clutch issue and had to make some adjustments on the go, but on the way back I was nearly 10 minutes faster on a course that was a bit rougher due to the cars and buggies, so it was nice to finish on a strong note.
“The WR450F worked well and is a great bike for an event like this as it is so stable at high speed. We never get below fourth gear so the speed is always high and without a good handling bike it would be a nightmare to race this event.
“Thank you to the Active8 Yamaha team for putting such a big effort into this event and to the Finke organisers who always do a great job out here. Hopefully, I can keep improving and get on the podium outright in 2017,” Ralston ends.
Yamaha mounted and former Australian Safari winner, Rodney Faggotter also took a class podium when he finished second in the 35-39 years category. Faggotter, the owner of Centretune Motorcycles in Longreach, Queensland, doesn’t get the bike time some of his competitors get but is still a feisty competitor and his 19th place finish in the outright standings still proves he knows how to get along on a dirt bike.