KTM Desert Racing Team mates Toby Price and Ivan Long have registered their second 1-2 of the Desert Tri-Series, dominating proceedings at the Doorawarra 500 near Carnarvon in Western Australia, aboard their KTM 500 EXCs.
Long drew first blood by besting Price in Friday’s 10-kilometre Prologue, however Price was fastest in both 250-kilometre stages across the weekend to win the event from Long and Jacob Smith, and continue his unbeaten run across the country’s major desert races for 2014.
Again filling in for Ben Grabham who is struggling with a hand injury, WA motocross ace Louis Calvin exceeded expectations with fifth overall, having earlier set the seventh-fastest prologue time, and making up two places in the thick dust today.
Price’s win in the three-day event, approximately 900 kilometres north of Perth, keeps him eligible for the coveted bonus prize – a $20,000 bonus offered to any rider who can win all three rounds.
KTM’s Grabham won the bonus last year, in the series inaugural running.
Ben Grabham, Team Manager: “Everything went super well and it was another great weekend for the team. Toby ended up winning by three or four minutes over Longy. Louis came in fifth which was quite a decent result for him in one of the dustiest races I’ve ever seen, but he slowly moved forward and didn’t do anything silly in what I class as his first real desert race. The bikes worked perfectly for all three boys all weekend, so it was great.”
Toby Price: “I got second in the prologue by about 20 seconds, but caught up and was quicker yesterday, however the dust was that crazy and mental that I couldn’t see anything. Today we got to start first and got a good clear run, so I can’t complain. I’ve got two wins up now which is great; the third one won’t be easy, but we’ll go there and do what we can.”
Ivan Long: “I had a pretty good prologue, qualified first and got a little bit over Toby, so that was cool. I haven’t done that before! Day one I put my head down and rode my own race and ended up 20 seconds behind Toby. Day two I thought I’d see if I can hang with Toby and just see where I’m at, so I put my head down and gained on him that first lap, but I didn’t have the energy to keep that pace. Greenfield Desert Racing have got the suspension going really well – the track got pretty rough toward the end and my bike gets up to around the 170/180 down the track and still ended up handling pretty well. It was a hell of a lot of fun!
Louis Calvin: “It was tough. It was well dusty and it would have been nice to prologue a little better and get started up front. They were tough conditions both days but I went better today and ended up fifth overall so I’m happy with that. It worked out pretty good, I could have had a better finish with a better start, but there’s always next time.”
Tri-Series Provisional Placings – Round 2:
1. Toby Price, 2. Ivan Long, 3. Jacob Smith, 4. Todd Smith, 5. Louis Calvin
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)
Caption: KTM Desert Racing Team racers (from top) Toby Price and Ivan Long took their second 1-2 of the series at the Doorawarra 500 with Louis Calvin taking Ben Grabham’s KTM 500 EXC to a respectable 5th place in what Grabbo refered to as his first true desert race. Pics Nils Friedrich