The Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team is fired up and ready to tackle the 2017 Hattah Desert Race this coming weekend. The iconic cross-country race celebrates its’ 20th year in 2017 and the Sherco Team is ready to race for glory.
Held 40-minutes’ drive south of Mildura in the north west of Victoria, the Hattah Desert Race attracts up to 700 competitors and thousands of spectators. Race weekend begins on Friday afternoon where riders are required to register and have their bikes and equipment scrutineered. The carnival atmosphere allows spectators to meet and greet the riders at Quandong Park Recreational Reserve in Red Cliffs between 4pm and 8pm Friday.
Senior competitors contest a 6km prologue on Saturday to determine the starting order for Sunday’s main race. Junior competitors race Saturday immediately after the senior rider prologue.
The Motul Pirelli Sherco Team will have Andy Wilksch racing a Sherco 450 SEF-R and Kate Norman aboard a Sherco 300 SEF-R. Wilksch is no stranger to Hattah having placed 14th and 16th respectively in 2015 and 2016, however, recent form suggests he’s ready to push the front runners in 2017.
“I really like Hattah,” Wilksch offered. “It’s a fast, tough race where you need to be fit and your bike has to be good enough to withstand the punishing conditions and last the distance. My Sherco 450 SEF-R is the best bike I’ve had the pleasure of racing and the Team has it setup perfectly for me. Just two weeks ago I raced to my career best 6th place finish at round 6 of the Australian Off-Road Championship in Renmark, South Australia. I’m feeling, fit, fast and ready to go.”
Kate Norman will compete in the Ladies Class at Hattah and is hopeful of a podium placing.
“Hattah is such a big event and the deep sand sections can be really challenging,” said Norman. “My plan is to get into a rhythm and chip away at the laps and minimize risks. If I can get a clean run and hopefully not get caught in too much dust I’ll be able to ride my own race and give it all I have.”
The Hattah Desert Race distance is 8 laps of the 38km track that covers fast farm tracks, deep sand dunes and snaking sections through Mallee scrub. Each lap the riders race through the pit lane which makes for an exciting spectacle for pit crew and spectators alike.
The main race will commence at 9.30am Sunday morning.