TWO AUSSIE TITLES FOR MOTOREX KTM AT HARVEY
Motorex KTM Off Road Racing Team added two more national titles to its trophy case after a successful campaign at the Harvey Fresh 2013 Australian Four-Day Enduro championship (A4DE), which wrapped up at Harvey, Western Australia.
Chris Hollis lifted his fourth career national enduro title, taking his KTM450EXC to victory in the Tuesday Prologue, then overtaking Matthew Phillips when Phillips struck trouble in the closing stages to win the E2 championship and finish second in outright classification behind Daniel Milner.
In the E3 category, Motorex HSE rider Ben Grabham overcame a two-day turnaround between winning last weekend’s WA Desert Tri-Series round at Port Hedland, and fronting the starter for Tuesday afternoon’s Prologue.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a Dakar Rally veteran, eight days of competition in a nine day time frame was no deal-breaker, and he fought off the attentions of Husaberg’s Geoff Braico to win the E3 championship on his KTM500EXC.
Two weeks after taking his second consecutive class win at the KTM Hattah Desert Race near Mildura, Ben Burrell rode his KTM250EXC-F in the most hotly contested championship (E1) and came away with 4th in class.
Another Dakar Rally competitor, though this a time a veteran of four-wheels, Alister McCrae completed the A4DE on a KTM500EXC as preparation for his first tilt at the Australian Safari in September, and completed the event an impressive 9th in the E3 class.
Motorex KTM ORT Manager Brad Williscroft: “We started off pretty good with Chris winning the Prologue, and the boys just built off a steady pace all week, and to come away with two titles is a pretty successful event for us plus to get second is pretty good so we’re very happy. All the boys rode well; Benny Burrell probably had the hardest class but still did some awesome times throughout the week and stayed 4th or 5th consistently.
It was just an awesome event. The conditions were perfect pretty much with rain early in the week, and a good variety of conditions to test the boys in.
It’s been a little bit of an up and down year for us so to win two of the three major titles is a great thing to come away for sure.”
Ben Burrell (KTM250EXC-F) - “My first race in WA was great, it’s an awesome place with awesome terrain and the race was really well organised. I was surprised that a lot of stuff was like home, and the day we did in the pea gravel, I actually went pretty well. I got faster as I went and finished fourth in E1 even though I got terrible arm pump in the final moto today, which I hadn’t experienced at any other time in the event. Overall I think I came away having taken some more good positive steps. I’d have liked a podium but I’ll keep working towards that for next time.”
Ben Grabham (KTM500EXC) - “I went straight from Port Hedland and I enjoyed the way it unfolded going from race to race, although with how fast the top boys were going it would have a been nice to have a little more time to prepare. Everything went pretty much as hoped for with the preparation that I had and it was good that I was able to pull a lead in the first two days and then go into a bit more of a conserve mode so as not to do anything silly.
It’s now 10 months since my first race back from injury and it’s great to get back up there and win a class, my first Aussie title since the injury. Everyone on the KTM team rode pretty well I think, and to take two titles from three was great for KTM. Benny and I had a little outright battle going among ourselves the whole way through. He was higher in the end so he’s got one up on me.”
Chris Hollis (KTM450EXC) - “It’s a good feeling. I haven’t had a win for a while so I’m pumped with it. I’m pretty happy with how I rode too, I wasn’t on the pace of the lead two but I wasn’t that far off it and I rode really consistent. I’m also glad to win the championship for KTM in my second year.
Today I got the holeshot and led for two laps and when Matthew came by I knew he had nearly 30 seconds to make up on me so I just cruised around til the chequered flag came out.
I didn’t get to do the A4DE last year because I broke my collarbone at the six day, so this feels good to win. I had no crashes or major mistakes and the bike ran really well the whole event. All I did was changed tyres every day and that’s all, it ran spot on.”
1. Daniel Milner 01:56:55.123, 2. Chris Hollis 01:58:07.770, 3. Matthew Phillips 01:58:22.711
1. Daniel Milner 01:56:55.123, 2. Tom McCormack 02:02:09.824, 3. Peter Boyle 02:02:28.438, 4. Ben Burrell 02:03:11.180
1. Chris Hollis 01:58:07.770, 2. Matthew Phillips 01:58:22.711, 3. Josh Green 02:01:38.231
1. Ben Grabham 02:03:20.999, 2. Geoff Braico 02:03:55.904, 3. Stefan Granquist 02:05:09.986
Pics: Jamie Nicolaou