As for emerging Victorian talent Sam Davie, 23, he rode to his career-best Finke Desert Race result one year ago by capturing fifth place overall on-board the Husqvarna FE 501 and will benefit immensely from the experience of joining Schwarz and Long in the official Husqvarna Motorcycles team for 2018.
"I'm excited for this year's race and the support from Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia is really good for us as a team," Davie said. "Working and riding with Ivan has pulled my pace along, so I am really comfortable at the moment and now look forward to the race to get underway. We've been up here three times this year, which has been important, and we've really progressed in terms of the bike settings together. This is the best prepared I have been heading into Finke, so hopefully it goes our way and we can come away with a strong result in the end."
David Schwarz - Team Manager, Husqvarna Motorcycles Desert Racing Team, is obviously keen to get the weekend underway.
"We are really looking forward to the challenge of the Finke Desert Race once again in 2018 after claiming that podium with Ivan last year and also winning his class on the Husqvarna FE 450 was fantastic," Schwarz said.
"When the opportunity came up to be able to run another rider we were happy to have Sam come on-board and to form the Husqvarna Motorcycles Desert Racing Team. We all really appreciate Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia providing the opportunity to run the desert team and, for me personally, it is the next stage in my career, so it is an exciting time together as a team."
The Finke Desert Race is regarded as one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the country, as riders take-on the mammoth 480-kilometre return trip from Alice Springs to Finke on consecutive days, each targeting ultimate glory in the outback.