Desert Racing

KTM Aiming To Continue Finke Domination In 2016


When KTM Australia‰Ûªs Desert Racing Team powered to its stunning 1-2 finish in the 2015 Tatts Finke Desert race, with defending Champion Toby Price leading home rookie teammate Tye Simmonds in the prestigious 40th running of the event, it was KTM‰Ûªs sixth win in seven years.

Since Ben Grabham and Brad Williscroft brought home a memorable 1-2 aboard KTM 505 XC-F machines in the 2009 running of the famous 480-kilometre desert epic, he and another KTM legend named Toby Price have held a virtual stranglehold over the event, Grabham going again in 2011, with Price winning in 2010, 2012, 2014 and last year going back to back for the first time in 2015.

The annual, two-day journey from Alice Springs south to Finke and back is an adrenaline fuelled blast that tests both man and machine to the limit. It's a condition where KTM's thrive.

Sadly for the opposition, things aren't going to get any easier in 2016 as reigning Dakar Rally Champion and defending back-to-back Finke Champion Toby Price (having recovered from his recent back injury) will return for a record-equalling fifth Finke Desert race win.

‰ÛÏThe last few months have been really busy but Finke has always been there in the back of the mind. The back injury a month ago made it a close call, and unfortunately I haven't done the preparation of previous years, but it‰Ûªs good to be here now pre-running." Price said.

"It‰Ûªs the high speeds of this race, the crowd and the atmosphere that draws me back. You‰Ûªre in the middle of the desert and there‰Ûªre thousands of people there on the side of the track cheering you on. That's the best part. I was telling a couple of the blokes from Europe the other day how it's an average of about 125 kph with a top speed of about 185-190kph and jaws just hit the ground - people don‰Ûªt quite believe you.

"This year my Red Bull KTM Rally team boss Alex Doringer is here to watch, so he can see what it's all about. Hopefully he doesn't say I‰Ûªm never allowed to do it again because of how crazy it is!

"KTM is dominating everywhere from the world enduro championships to Dakar and the KTM Rally team, to AMA supercross and motocross, and then the Aussie results too. Here at Finke they bring out a good service to all the privateer guys, and the bikes are just easy to work on and they get the job done fast. That's why KTM has double the entries of the nearest manufacturer on the entry list, which is cool to see.

"Now that I‰Ûªm in the Factory team, I can see that our teams are all just a big family and that's what I enjoy most; it‰Ûªs always fun to go away every weekend racing. It's a business for everybody, but as long as you're doing your job right, and giving your hundred percent, that's what KTM wants.‰Û
Tye Simmonds will be looking to replicate his 2015 race result again in 2016
Price will be flanked by KTM Desert Racing team mate and 2015 Finke runner-up Tye Simmonds, who is in hot form with a last-start win at the Australian Off-Road Championships at Murray Bridge in South Australia.

‰ÛÏThis is definitely one of the biggest and best races in Australia and it‰Ûªs completely unique." Simmonds said. "Last year I had no idea what to expect with the atmosphere and the lead up into the race, the whole town stops for the week up to the race.

"It's great that Toby's back, I get on really good with him, and have done ever since we started racing. We grew up racing motocross and supercross so I've known him pretty much all my racing career. He‰Ûªs just such a different and unique human. After what he‰Ûªs achieved with winning Dakar, he‰Ûªs a superstar, but he doesn't seem that way, he‰Ûªs just the same Toby Price as he was last time we were out here. Some famous people change the way they do things, but Toby is still just a bush kid at heart, who always has time to say g'day to everyone.‰Û

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