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Milner wins wet Hattah Desert Race | News

KTM Enduro Racing Team duo Daniel Milner and Lyndon Snodgrass have delivered a 1-2 finish in the 2019 Hattah Desert Race near Mildura, Victoria.

Milner qualified fastest following Saturday’s Prologue with a blistering 2m45.417s lap-time set in the Top 10 Shootout, while Snodgrass recorded the third-fastest lap overall and quickest in class.

Contested in difficult, muddy conditions after rain arrived on Sunday morning, Milner claimed his second-career Hattah victory riding the class-leading KTM 500 EXC-F and also clinching the Over 450cc 4-Stroke class win in the process.

This year’s race was declared halfway following four laps of the 37-kilometre course because of the treacherous weather. Milner was able to complete the race in 2h14m22.051s, reaching the chequered flag 3m21.159s ahead of teammate Snodgrass.

Milner’s effort was even more remarkable since he has been recovering from a broken collarbone sustained six weeks prior to Hattah, as well as tendonitis, limiting his seat time in the lead-up to what is recognised as one of the most gruelling races in the sport.

Daniel Milner – KTM 500 EXC-F: “It’s such a good feeling to win Hattah after breaking my collarbone six weeks ago and undergoing surgery before I then had tendon problems in the opposite arm once I was back on the bike. I’d only had four days on the bike and one day of testing, so to bring it home is an unbelievable feeling and the KTM 500 EXC-F is such a weapon to ride! Things went our way in the race and we didn’t miss a beat – the bike was very similar to how I rode it last year in terms of set-up. It really was a matter of making sure we could get through the race and it became a case of survival, so I was being as consistent as possible. The decision to cut the race short was the right one in those conditions and I’m really happy to get another outright win here, that’s for sure.”

Snodgrass also put forward a phenomenal ride on the KTM 450 EXC-F to not only claim an outright podium, but also comfortably score the 251cc-450cc 4-Stroke class win over eight minutes clear of his closest rival.

Lyndon Snodgrass – KTM 450 EXC-F: “Today was a crazy one with all that rain coming down, making it a really tough mud race in the desert, so to finish second outright and first in class was definitely awesome. The Prologue was important and we did well in that, so today I tried to have the cleanest race possible all the way through to the end – it was a matter of survival in those conditions by the time we got to the last lap and especially towards the end. The KTM 450 EXC-F was faultless all weekend and we managed to get one position better than last year, so I’m rapt with that result.”

KTM riders filled four of the top five positions outright, including Lachlan Terry in fourth and Davey Motorsports KTM’s Mason Semmens in fifth. Semmens won the Under 19s division, while KTM-mounted Jess Moore was also victorious in the Ladies Tenacious Women of Hattah category.

Next for the KTM Enduro Racing Team will be rounds five and six of the 2019 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), to be held at Kyogle, New South Wales, between 20-21 July.

Glenn Kearney – Motorsport Manager, KTM Australia: “It was an outstanding performance by both riders and very impressive. The weather wasn’t expected because, although there was rain forecast, it wasn’t anticipated to be that amount falling. It very quickly became a mud race and there were pools of water everywhere, so it was a matter of survival and a real reliability test. After Saturday’s Prologue went very well for both Daniel and Lyndon, they started first and third. Daniel’s result today was remarkable after the lead-in that he had, but to his credit, he showed true grit and hung in there for the win. Plus, for Lyndon to dominate his class and come away second outright, he is really proving that desert racing is one of his strengths. Like Finke, this is a huge event for KTM Australia and we have had a huge group of people involved, so this is a really, really rewarding result for everybody.”

2019 Hattah Desert Race Outright Results:
1. Daniel Milner (KTM)
2. Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM)
3. Josh Green (Yamaha)
4. Lachlan Terry (KTM)
5. Mason Semmens (KTM)

Photos: John Pearson Media