Emboldened by a recent change in fortunes, Motul Pirelli Sherco Race Team’s Callum Norton has reaffirmed his status as one of the country’s finest desert duellers with a brilliant second place finish in the Don River Dash in Bowen (Qld) on September 10-11.
After luckless DNFs at the Finke and Hattah desert races, Norton has now built up a full head of steam on his 2023 model Sherco 500 SEF Factory as he takes on the second half of the national racing calendar full of confidence.
And that showed on his first visit to the increasingly popular Don River Dash – both in terms of total competitors and the heavyhitters on the entry list – when he finished the Pro All-Powers class just 37 seconds behind Liam Walsh after 320km of racing. Kodi Stephens finished in third position.
“What a great event: I loved it from start to finish.” Said Norton. “It was super deep sand and really brutal on both bikes and bodies, and if I had to compare it to another event Finke is probably the closest – but with hints of Hattah as far as set-up was concerned. So in other words, a hybrid-type affair.
“The deep sand kept down some of the insane top speeds, so in the open sections I was probably pushing along at 140km/h instead of 150km/h. It was certainly a demanding track with some tighter turns thrown into the mix as well some gnarly man-made jumps.
“I didn’t expect it to be a walk in the park, though, and I’ll be coming back next year to try and go one position better.”
Five Shercos help up the French cause at the Don River Dash, with James Heenan the next best in 10th position on the Tweaked Performance 500 SEF Factory.
A total of 203 riders made it to the finish on day one, and 183 removed their lids at the conclusion of the event back in Bowen – located smack bang in the middle of Mackay and Townsville.
For Don River Dash results, click here
Meanwhile, while Norton was enjoying some fun in the north Queensland sun, his teammate Jonte Reynders was dominating yet another round of the Tassie enduro series on his Motul Pirelli Sherco Race Team 300 SE Factory – which just about guarantees champion status for another year.
Reynders will compete in the penultimate round of the 2022 Australian Off-Road Championship in Kingston SE (SA) this weekend (September 17-18), and seven days later Norton and Reynders will reunite for the Big-Bore Nationals at Krusic’s Ride Park in Gippsland (Vic) on September 25.
As well as his 500 SEF Factory, Norton will ride a 300 SE Factory at the Nationals, while Reynders will add a 450 SEF Factory to his repertoire.