The 2016 Hattah Desert Race is done and dusted and it's Tye Simmonds who came out on top.
KTM Off Road Racing Team riders Tye Simmonds and Daniel Sanders gave KTM Australia the coveted Finke/Hattah double for the third straight year as they powered to a 1-2 finish in this year’s Hattah Desert race near Mildura. Yamaha’s Beau Ralston rode to a third place finish.
Simmonds and AORC championship leader Sanders fought out an intense battle for the lead, exchanging the top spot approximately 10 times during the third and fourth laps of the rugged four-hour desert epic before Simmonds was able to break clear.
Switching from his regular KTM 300 two-stroke to one of the team’s mighty 500EXC desert weapons, Sanders took the early advantage as he qualified fastest, earning the right to lead the field out onto the track today, but when he took a tumble while battling over the lead with Simmonds late on the fourth lap, his team mate was able to open a gap that Sanders could not fully close.
It was almost a 1-2-3, with Finke class winner Nathan Trigg holding third on a KTM 500 EXC until the very last lap, when his bib mousse rear tyre failed, and he was forced to limp home in 11th place on just the rim.
At the end of four hours Simmonds won the event by over 12 seconds from Sanders, with Beau Ralston a further 11 minutes behind.
Glenn Kearney maintained a top-5 position throughout the race and finished fourth overall while Peter Boyle finished fifth.
In the womens class, KTM’s Danielle Foot took the win aboard her KTM250SX-F. Fellow KTM rider Tegan Hall placed second and Suzuki rider Morgan Wright placed third.
Hattah Top 5 Overall
1. Tye SIMMONDS 4:06:28.673
2. Daniel SANDERS 4:06:41.133
3. Beau RALSTON 4:17:11.530
4. Glenn KEARNEY 4:23:45.385
5. Peter BOYLE 4:30:50.831