Andy Wilksch has completed the 2018 Finke Desert Race amid adversity to bring his Sherco 300 SE Factory Edition across the finish line with a class podium 


Motul Pirelli Sherco rider Andy Wilksch has experienced the turmoil that desert racing can bring. Wilksch began the race in good spirits and with good speed aboard the Sherco 300 SE Factory Edition. Completing Day-1 in 28th position overall and 2nd in Class-1 for open-class two-strokes was a fine result despite a small crash temporarily pausing his race.


“I had a decent run yesterday, but I hit a small sand hill at the 130km mark and went down after a small high-side,” said Wilksch. “That shook me up a bit then I had another moment at the 150km mark after making up around 20 positions.”


Wilksch aimed for the finish line at Finke, completing the 230km stretch in 28th position overall and second in Class.


Wilksch began Day-2 of the race just 16-seconds in arrears of first place and quickly moved into the lead of his class.


“I pulled into my first fuel stop behind my team mate, Nathan Trigg,” Wilksch continued. “He’d had a few dramas and we rode together for a bit which fired us both up. I pushed on to my second fuel stop and that’s when I got passed for the class lead. I went for it as hard as I could from there and unfortunately a stick caught my fuel line, tearing it from the carburettor.”


Despite the setback, Wilksch repaired the bike and continued the race only for the fuel line to come off again.


“I thought my race was done,” Wilksch explained. “But I got back on and gave it everything I had. I was going as fast as I could but the time I lost was too much to make up so late in the race. I just had some fun with it and got across the line with third place in my class. My bike was just so perfect, fun and powerful and I feel frustrated and upset for the Team that I couldn’t get them the two-stroke class win.”


Although Wilksch did not record the result he was after, Motul Pirelli Sherco Team manager Derek Grundy was impressed with Wilksch and how well the Sherco 300 SE performed.


“I really feel for Andy,” offered Grundy. “The chances of having a fuel line torn off by a stick are so slim it’s hard to imagine. The bike was fast. Andy rode exceptionally well for his first time at Finke and we’ll just have to cop this one on the chin and move on.”


Wilksch ended the race in 34th position overall and third place in Class-1.