Just three weeks after a spectacular debut podium finish in the KTM Hattah Desert Race, WA motocross ace Louis Calvin has again been asked to fill in for injured Team boss Ben Grabham, for this weekend’s second round of the Desert Tri-Series, the Doorawarra 500, near Carnarvon in Western Australia.
The three-day event, approximately 900 kilometres north of Perth, sees a 10-kilometre Prologue on the Friday followed by around 500 kilometres of racing across Saturday and Sunday, incorporating everything from wide-open desert expanses and sand dunes to slower more technical terrain such as hills and riverbed.
Grabham’s persistent hand injury continues to make hard riding for any length of time impossible, and the highly-decorated off-road racing ace is now forced to seek surgical assistance over the coming weeks.
Calvin will join team regulars Ivan Long, who was second in the tri-series opener last month, and Finke and Hattah Desert Race winner Toby Price, who leads the series after winner the opening round at Newman.
Ben Grabham, Team Manager: “Carnarvon was probably the pick of the tracks with the sand, some nice high-speed fast desert, and dunes out the back. It’s rained quite a bit in Perth, so hopefully up the coast they’ve gotten the same and it will make Prologue not so important. I’m still on the bench. I’ve tried riding a little bit with my hand but I can only ride decent for 20 minutes and then I can’t hang on. I’m booked in next Thursday to see the surgeons. Toby’s coming off a lot of big wins and Ivan who’s got a string of results going, as well as Louis, which is sort of fitting in that he had a good result at Hattah and he’s from WA. He’s super-keen, so it’s great he gets another chance to swing off my bike again.”
Toby Price: “I’ve heard this track is a little tighter and a little more technical – you can’t run off the track too much. It’s my first season doing the tri-series and it’s definitely different, trying to go as fast as you can on your first lap without knowing exactly where the track goes. I like getting out in the swag and camping, it’s really good fun and the events are run well and have a lot of support, which, for the locations they’re at is great. They seemed stoked to see us there last time and hopefully we can help spread the word about it and help the series take off and get big and strong.”
Ivan Long: “This is the first time for me up here but it sounds like it will be a good fun track. Kumarina was super fast, but this one is meant to be tight, rocky, with sandy creek sections and I enjoy that stuff that tests the manoeuvrability of the bike. I’m really hanging out to get on my 500 again. I’ve been practising on my own 450 and it’s just not quite the same. They’re really comfortable to go fast on and just so much fun, and that’s why we ride bikes. Racing against my team mates Toby, Ben and now Louis Calvin is pretty full-on and they’re not exactly going slow, but as long as we don’t see any other colours up the front I’ll be happy.”
Louis Calvin: “I’m happy with how I went at Hattah and the outcome we got there, and I was stoked to get the call again. I’ve been told it’s in between Hedland and Carnarvon but I don’t know a lot more, other than that it’s fairly fast with all kinds of different terrains. I don’t know what to expect, so it should be fun and exciting. I’ve been doing a little bit more of this kind of riding lately in the bush, and having fun with it.”
Tri-Series Placings after Round 1 of 3:
1. Toby Price, 2. Ivan Long, 3. Ben Grabham, 4. Jacob Smith, 5. Todd Smith, 6. Josh Green.
2014 Desert Racing Tri-Series:
27-29 June – Kumarina 500, (Newman Enduro Club)
25-27 July – Doorawarrah 500, (Desert Motorcycle Club)
22-24 August – Indee 500 (Port Hedland Motorcycle Club)