KTM Enduro Racing Team's Lyndon Snodgrass has finished third in the 2018 Hattah Desert Race repeating his result of one year ago in an inspired effort.
The highly-rated Victorian rode as sharp as ever in the gruelling four-hour marathon near Mildura, improving upon his fourth-place qualifying result following Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout and charging through to position three on Sunday.
Snodgrass qualified fourth with a lap of 2m39.281s around the Prologue course, then pressed on to deliver third outright when it counted in the main event with a total time of 4h19m29.308s. That performance also placed him second in the Over 450cc Four-Stroke division aboard his factory KTM 500 EXC-F.
Last year’s winner Daniel Milner qualified second with a scintillating lap-time of 2m37.065s, only 0.809s from the pole position lap. Race-day didn’t go as smoothly for him on-board his KTM 500 EXC-F though, losing eight minutes in the pits on lap three due to a crash that damaged his start switch after running second in the early laps.
The team swiftly diagnosed and rectified the problem to get Milner back on track as soon as possible, enabling him to charge back through the field to fourth place in a gritty ride. He also managed to salvage a hard-fought third in the Over 450cc Four-Stroke class, finishing 3m41.271s in arrears of teammate Snodgrass.
Both Snodgrass and Milner will now turn their attention to rounds five and six of the Australian Off-Road Championship, scheduled for Dungog, New South Wales, between 28-29 July with the KTM Enduro Racing Team.
Glenn Kearney – Motorsport Manager, KTM Australia: “We’re really proud of Lyndon to finish on the outright podium and congratulate him on that result, plus he and Daniel were both on the Over 450cc class podium. After a big crash on the first lap that damaged the radiator and shroud, he rode solid all day and finally worked his way back into third at the end. Unfortunately Daniel had a small crash and it somehow damaged the start switch, so when we turned the bike off in the pits it took some time to diagnose and rectify the issue. He had another problem when he stalled on track, but he showed his true character to come from way back and finish fourth. Everybody puts in a huge amount of effort for this, so thank you to all for their involvement.”
Lyndon Snodgrass – KTM 500 EXC-F: “It was good to get back up on the podium again this year after what was a pretty tough race in the dusty conditions. It’s always positive to put the KTM 500 EXC-F on the outright podium, especially after that crash early on. That was on the first lap and I did have a few others along the way, which made it a little bit harder for myself, so that felt even better to bring it home in third. I tried hard the whole way, kept pushing as this year was a challenging one and I definitely had to work for it. I really appreciate all the effort put in by the KTM Enduro Racing Team!”
Daniel Milner – KTM 500 EXC-F: “Today definitely wasn’t what I wanted and it was the most shattering Hattah I’ve done so far. We were sitting in second, trying to do what I pretty much did last year and we had a game-plan there, but unfortunately the bike wouldn’t re-fire following the pit-stop. Then I came together with a lapped rider when I got back on track, stalled it and couldn’t get going again, but I had some help trackside with people giving me the tools to fix what I needed to at that stage. That put me back to around 12th position, so I just kept charging from there and never gave up on my way to fourth outright and the class podium. For me, that was really disappointing, although we did what we could and I couldn’t ask for more from the KTM 500 EXC-F in terms of set-up. A big thanks to all that helped us with this event.”
2018 Hattah Desert Race
1. Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna) 4h15m22.802s
2. Josh Green (Yamaha) 4h16m28.977s
3. Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM) 4h19m29.308s
4. Daniel Milner (KTM) 4h23m10.579s
5. Nathan Trigg (Sherco) 4h24m18.387s