Jonte Reynders was a man on mission at the Hattah Desert Race. The in-form Tasmanian off-road racer had teamed up with Motorcycle Land Ballarat for a full-on assault on the biggest multi-lap cross country race in the country.
Reynders was mounted on a Motorcycle Land Ballarat Sherco 300 SE Factory edition and although having never ridden the bike before and having no Hattah Desert Race experience, Reynders set the fastest qualifying time for the highly competitive 300cc two-stroke class.
As the main race began, Reynders set about carving his way through the field and had worked his way up to 16th position outright with a sizeable five-minute margin back to the neatest competitor in the 300cc two-stroke class. With heavy rain and hail hampering the charge, Reynders fell victim to a mechanical issue that forced him out of the race in the fourth and final lap.
“Jonte is a class act. He’s a nice young man with bike skills that really wants to have a go,” said Matt Brown from Motorcycle Land Ballarat. “He was flying on our 300 and making ground on some well-established riders. We just got caught out by the conditions. The radiator became blocked, the bike got too hot and it stopped. It was just unfortunate. But Jonte wasn’t hurt, Sherco is still making great motorbikes so we’ll give it another go next year.”
Although disappointed, Reynders was positive about his efforts and is adamant he will return to Hattah to race for a class win in 2020.
“I started a long way back and made a lot of passes,” stated Reynders. “I was loving the race. It was the most fun I have ever had on a bike and that 300 two-stroke was awesome. I had a big lead and I am disappointed not to finish but there wasn’t much we could do given the circumstances. Matt and Tubby from Motorcycle Land were super helpful and supportive, it’s just a shame we couldn’t get the result we wanted. I already want to go back now and get what we lost so you could say I’m keen for Hattah 2020.”
Photography: John Pearson