Daniel Sanders took victory at the 2022 Hattah Desert Race in what was a commanding return to domestic competition for the Victorian.
Motocross champion, and Hattah Rookie, Todd Waters was second with Victorian Jack Simpson rounding out the podium.
Dakar stage winner Sanders showcased his speed from the onset, setting the second-fastest time in the Prologue while navigating traffic before finishing first in the Top 10 Shootout on Saturday.
Starting from the first position for Sunday’s eight-lap senior race, Sanders delivered a spectacular performance to capture his second crown at the prestigious event, finishing 2m 31.980s clear of Waters.
“It was a mad rush to get to the start line at Hattah this year, but I had a lot of people behind me, helping me out with a lot of support from GASGAS Australia, Red Bull and a few other good companies!” Sanders said. “I grabbed my old mechanic Lewie [Landrigan] from MotoLab, who came and helped me out, so we had a good core group of people around me. We went into the Prologue with a pretty fast bike and just had a good run, passed a few lappers, finished second in that, then got the victory in the Top 10 Shootout by half a second.
“It was good to take off on Sunday and have fresh air, I was able to put in a good first lap and save a lot of energy, and also the second lap, then the guys were pushing the pace, riding really well in the third, fourth lap, and sort of dropped off a bit halfway through. I kept cruising along, diesel training and got the victory in the end and was able to claw the gap out to two and a half minutes, which was good!”
Regular ProMX rider and former Australian Motocross Champion Todd Waters went on to secure second place following four grueling hours of competition, completing the eight laps with a total time of 4h 10m 15.368s – also winning the Over 450cc Four-Stroke category.
“I was excited to make my debut at Hattah and to finish on the podium was a real reward for myself and the whole team involved,” Waters said. “The FE 501 was awesome to ride, my first time racing that bike and a first for me in the desert, so we were stoked to win our class as well! It definitely wasn’t an easy race, but the result was a good one for us and I look forward to coming back here again in the future after what we learned this weekend.”
Having returned from the USA, where he has been competing in various off-road series, Jack Simpson made the podium with third, having also qualified in the same spot.
“Third place today at Hattah was a tuff one coming from way back but I put in and put it on the box,” Simpson said.
An incredible weekend for Emma Milesevic saw the Victorian motocross regular battle from 67th to 1st place, by over 20 minutes in the Women’s class and 41st outright. Madi Healey finished second Emmelie Karlsson rounded out the Women’s podium.
2022 Hattah Top Ten Overall:
1 Daniel Sanders – 4:07:43.388
2 Todd Waters – 4:10:15.368
3 Jack Simpson – 4:13:35.332
4 Andrew Wilksch- 4:19:42.073
5 Lachlan Terry – 4:20:17.011
6 Joshua Green – 4:20:47.587
7 Samuel Pretscherer – 4:21:49.038
8 Beau Ralston – 4:22:34.062
9 Nathan Trigg – 4:25:28.018
10 Riley Graham – 4:26:03.707