Meet KTM's Desert Racing team at Desert Edge Motorcycle, Alice Springs.
KTM Australia’s Desert Racing Team including Toby Price, Tye Simmonds and David Walsh will be on hand at Desert Edge motorcycles, Alice Springs from 4-7pm on Thursday, June 9 to say hello to a heap of excited race fans in the lead up to the 2016 Tatt’s Finke Desert Race.
Four-time Finke legend Toby Price, 2015 runner-up Tye Simmonds and two-time Vice Champion David Walsh will all be signing autographs and giving away posters, plus there will be limited edition DAKAR merchandise available to purchase.
The big news surrounding the 2016 Finke is Toby Price’s plan to race in both the Trophy Truck and Dirtbike class. Price plans to drive down to Finke, fly back in a plane, and then ride his KTM 500EXC down the same track several hours later to the Sunday overnight stop, before doing the same on the homeward leg on Monday.
On the bike he’ll not only aim for a third consecutive win, but a fifth Finke outright victory which would equal the record of Alice Springs ace Randall Gregory.
“It definitely hasn’t been the same amount of preparation as previous years but everything feels pretty good,” Said Price.
We are going to try and do the ironman, which is over 1000 km of racing in two days. You can’t live in a cotton wool box, and for me I always like challenging myself and I think this is something that is going to push me pretty hard. I might have made it harder to win my fifth Finke and tie Randall’s record, but this chance has come up now and it may not have come up next year. We’ll try our best to compete strongly in both classes.”
I’m really looking forward to the meet and greet at Desert Edge on Thursday. I enjoy that side of things and it’s always happy to say hello to all the fans who support us with everything we do.”
His two team mates Simmonds and Walsh will try their best to ensure Price doesn’t achieve his goal, as both are hungry to etch their names on the coveted trophy for the first time.
“I got some bike time yesterday, went down to the 160 mark, and I think we are running our race bikes in tomorrow, so, I’m looking forward to that!” Said Walsh.
“Tye and his dad Greg have been here for the last three weeks and it will be good to catch up with the rest of the team and get ready for the race week. I’m looking forward to it. The town is always very busy this time of year and being the local, everyone is wishing you well, saying g’day and whatnot. It’s a nice vibe, sharing stories with all the riders about near misses and whatnot down the track, it’s always good for a laugh.”
Tye Simmonds will be atempting to better his second place result from the 2015 race, but it’ll be a tough job with Price around.
“I’m feeling like a local after being up here for a couple of weeks. I get on really well with my teammate David Walsh and he’s really looked after me,” Tye Said.
“I definitely feel a lot better about the race than I did last year, when I had no idea what was coming my way, but this year we feel like we’re definitely a lot further ahead. To be honest I can’t wait to get Prologue done and get racing. I’m looking forward to sticking it to these boys and hopefully being up front.
“I’m a bit jealous of Toby’s gig this year, but he’s definitely the man for the job. Hopefully he has a good run on the bike …and finishes right behind me!
“I’m looking forward to the meet and greet; it’s the fans who make the sport what it is and spend countless hours standing out there in the sun, cheering us on and celebrating.”
If either of the three factory KTM riders wins, it will be the seventh Finke Desert race victory for the KTM squad in eight years.
KTM’s dominance of desert racing is reflected in the entry list for this year’s race, with the 172 KTMs entered, double next-best represented brand. “We’re coming off some good years out here, and we’ve left no stone unturned this year,” Said Team Manager Ben Grabham.”
“Toby’s had a little bit of time back on the bike since he tweaked his back and he’s looking fast, as he normally does in the desert.
Tye and Walshy are healthy and looking good, so if we can keep doing what we are doing, we’ll be in a good spot for this.
“Toby loves having new adventures and if anyone can be un-fazed by racing the bike and the car and get good results in both, it would be him.
“The race bikes will get their final runs tomorrow and from then on it’s about relaxing. The boys have done the hard yards but they may go out and look at a few sections here or there.”