Five Times Finke Desert Race Winner and Defending Dakar Rally Winner Toby Price
The Finke Desert Race starts this week and for the first time in many years KTM does not have a stranglehold on the event. Finke comes to life once a year when thousands of race-fans and competitors descend on the sleepy outback town. Run over two days and 480 klms the Finke starts at Alice Springs and races south to Finke for an overnight stop and then back to the Alice the next morning. The flat-out speeds across open desert terrain push the riders and machines to absolute breaking point.
KTM has won the event eight times over the past nine years. Last year’s winner and 2016 Dakar Rally champion Toby Price will not compete in this year’s Finke as he is still recovering from a broken leg after a fall defending his title in the 2017 Dakar. Price has won the Finke five times before.
Instead the KTM Desert Racing Team is putting all its efforts and experience behind two up and coming riders David Walsh and Luke Hayes.
Walsh, a 27-year-old carpenter, finished third in 2016 and Hayes is a local rider who actually lives on the Finke track at Deep Well Station. Young Luke Hayes, a 22 year-old Northern Territory school teaching assistant, will also be well supported by his indigenous students. Riding as a privateer, Luke finished sixth outright in 2016. Both guys will ride KTM’s new 500 EXC-F machines. And Toby Price will be there to urge them on to hopefully a successful result.
David Walsh riding for KTM Desert Rally Team