GRABHAM CARRIES TRI-SERIES LEAD INTO INDEE
HSE Motorex KTM Off-Road Team racers Ben Grabham and Matt Fish have already arrived at Indee Station near Port Hedland in preparation for the weekend’s Indee 500, the second round of the brand new WA Desert Tri-Series.
Grabham last month won the first round of the series at Doorawarra Station, near Carnarvon in Western Australia’s upper Gascoyne Region and hopes to extend his series advantage with an eye to securing the inaugural WA Desert Tri-Series champion’s plate.
The series challenges competitors with three days of desert racing action per round, utilising a 10-kilometre Prologue on the Friday followed by approximately 500 kilometres of racing across Saturday and Sunday, and incorporating everything from wide-open desert expanses to slower more technical terrain like riverbed, hills and rock outcrops.
Grabham chose the KTM500EXC as his series mount for its fantastic combination of versatility and outright power, and so mounted, he's proven to be unstoppable force.
Among those attempting to stop him will be his HSE Motorex KTM Off-Road team mate Matt Fish, who got the measure of ‘Grabbo’ at the Finke Desert Race in June and reckons he can do it again.
Competitors will have their first chance for bragging rights in tomorrow’s Friday Prologue event, which will set the starting order for Saturday’s first stage and give the leaders an opportunity to avoid any potential dust issues.
Straight after the race Grabham will race back to Perth to prepare for the A4DE, which begins on Wednesday.
The exciting three-round series will conclude early next month with the third round of the series to take place at Kumarina Station, Newman WA on August 9-11.
BEN GRABHAM – "We flew into Port Hedland last night then drove out here to set up. Indy station looks like it’s had a fair bit of rain here. I’ve ridden through here before in my first Safari in ’07 and it’s quite nice with some high speed desert and smaller mountains. It should make for a good track and it’s always motivating to come somewhere new. The first round was awesome for me so I hope to continue down the same path. Hattah was a step in the right direction, I had good speed and was more than happy with the bike. I’m slowly regaining the hundred percent confidence I used to have. Last weekend the physical demand was kind of like a 4-hour motocross with so many bikes doing 7 or 8 laps, where this one is more like a traditional desert race and won’t be as gruelling. I thought we’d be one of first here but there’s a lot here already. I think there’s a bit of history with this race and there are a lot of boys up here who probably don’t get the chance to race that often and are making the most of it, which is great!"
MATT FISH – "I’ve been sleeping really well since Hattah – that one took it out of me. As for this race, I did it last year, and I like this area, it’s really nice track up here. It’s a good mix of station tracks with a lot of riverbed and rocky outcrops, a good variation of all terrains and I’m excited to be here. My preparation has gone well - I’ve had a fairly light week and the bikes are getting better and better to ride so I think we’re in for a good weekend. We’re riding 125km loops, two on Saturday and two on Sunday so the demands are different to most of what we’ve done lately – rather than do a heap of laps you know, you spend your time reading the terrain as you come to it, and I prefer it this way. Maybe my height lets me see a bit further down the track than other guys!"
WA Desert Racing Tri-Series Round 1 Standings:
1. Ben Grabham
2. Jake Wattling
3. Rod Faggotter
WA Desert Racing Tri-Series rounds:
Rd.1 Doorawarrah 500 – June 21-23 Doorawarrah Station, Carnarvon WA
Rd.2 Indee 500 – July 12-14 Indee Station, Port Hedland WA
Rd.3 Kumarina 2-Day – August 9-11, Kumarina Station, Newman WA