Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team duo Daniel Sanders and Fraser Higlett head to the 2018 Hattah Desert Race this weekend, 7-8 July, in search of victory in the high-profile Victorian event.
Situated near Mildura and spanning over four hours in duration, Hattah is one of the must-win events on the Australian dirtbike schedule and is regarded as one of the toughest of all. At around 30 minutes per lap and with eight of those to conquer, 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.
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.
The Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team of Sanders and Higlett will be joined by AORC regular, Lachlan Stanford, in a meet and greet rider signing event at MotoTech Mildura (34 Seventh Street, East Mildura, VIC 3500) from 4:00-7:00pm on Thursday, 5 July, which fans are welcome and encouraged to attend. Saturday will see the Prologue qualifier contested, before the gruelling Hattah marathon takes off from 9:00am on Sunday.
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.”
Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna FE 501: “I’m excited going into Hattah with the Husqvarna team and I’ve been putting in a lot of time training with Fraser, so it’s all looking good. We are as well prepared as we can be going in after working really hard on the engine and suspension tuning, which adds to the confidence. This is the one event on the calendar that I really wanted to win this year and after finishing second two years in a row, I’ve dug deep and put a lot of effort in. There are a lot of people behind me who have worked hard too, so I really want to do it for both myself and the team around me. The Husqvarna 501 is the way to go, you need all the ‘ponies’ you can get in a race like this, so it’s a really strong package and I feel like we have a point to prove out there this year.”
Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna FE 450: “Everything feels really good heading into this weekend and I’m loving the Husqvarna FE 450 in the desert. It’s been a good step from the 250 and I have put a lot of time on it now, so I’m looking forward to going racing. Obviously the plan is to win my class and go as well as I can outright, but most of all I want to have a consistent race and if I can do that over the four hours then the result will show. It should be good in what will be my third time at Hattah, so I’m excited to be with the Husqvarna team this year.”
Photo: Wilkinson Photography