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Desert Racing

KTM Off-Road Team Targets Hattah Defence

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KTM Off-Road Team Targets Hattah Defence
KTM Enduro Racing Team rider and defending champion Toby Price will lead a formidable four-rider KTM contingent into this weekend's annual Hattah Desert race near Mildura.

The event‰Ûªs combination of deep sand, crazy high speeds and testing physical challenge are like a magnet to the man who earlier this year finished his maiden Dakar Rally with a podium, and a month after successfully defending his Finke crown, Price will attempt to do likewise at Hattah.

‰ÛÏHattah is another one of my favourites." Price admitted. "The conditions here are awesome. The track is always really good and I love the high-speed stuff and when all of those whoops come out.

"The atmosphere here is really cool too, tonight we've got the scrutineering night, which is the riders meet and greet night where people can come and say g'day and get some posters signed. You get to mix it with the fans and catch up and have a chat to people before the business end of the weekend.

"I love riding the KTM 500 EXC here; the power delivery is really good. We‰Ûªve got some pretty sharp turns but the KTM gets up on top of the sand really quick and before you know it you‰Ûªre back in top gear having a good time. I'm looking forward to getting the big girl back out there again and holding her wide open!‰Û
KTM Off-Road Team Targets Hattah Defence
Tye Simmonds has raced Hattah once before when he was 17 back in 2008 - Credit: John Pinnell
Tye Simmonds came to Hattah once before when he was 17, but back then he wasn't seated on one of the factory team‰Ûªs KTM 500 EXCs, and he wasn‰Ûªt the Finke Desert race vice-champion then either. Tougher, stronger and faster now, the former motocross pro is a genuine contender by anyone's measure.

‰ÛÏI've only done one Hattah before and that was in 2008 when I was 17." Simmonds said. "Testing has been good so far and the bike is feeling really good. This is really enjoyable for me, it‰Ûªs still really fast, but a little bit more motocrossy with the sand and everything so hopefully it will suit me. See how we go.

"It's good to be back on the big 500 and going fast again. I love the big girls, they are fun, that's for sure. They do feel a bit heavier with the setup and the steering damper, compared to our off-road bikes which are set up to turn on a dime, so it‰Ûªs a case of trying to find that happy medium between stability and manoeuvrability. Can‰Ûªt wait for Sunday though, it's going to be magic.‰Û

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