Nathan Trigg

NATHAN Trigg is eyeing off the opportunity to become the first hometown rider to win the Hattah Desert Race in a decade.

The 24-year-old from Ouyen finished seventh outright in last year’s event, but this year he hopes the backing of the Sherco Factory Team, and riding on their 450 SEF-R machine, can take him further up the order.

Trigg will enter Australia’s toughest off-road race this weekend aiming to be the first Sunraysia local to win the event since Warren Smart in 2008.

“I’m a big believer in making sure I get to the finish line above all else,” he said.

“The results will be what they will be but if I get to the finish line having done my very best then I hope that is good enough.”

Trigg was the fastest 450cc rider at the recent Finke Desert Race in Alice Springs and placed 10th overall.

With the Hattah event far more familiar to him, and on terrain similar to his own practice track in Ouyen, Trigg expects to be in the mix at the front of the pack.

“This Sherco is a great bike,” Trigg said. “It’s fast and it has great suspension and handling, so I can’t see why I wouldn’t be fighting for a good position. The field is stacked with good riders this year so it certainly won’t be easy but I’m prepared for a tough race.”

Joining Trigg on the Motul Pirelli Sherco Team is Andy Wilksch, who will race a Sherco 300 SE Factory edition two-stroke. Wilksch recently placed third in the open two-stroke class at Finke and is keen to bag a win at Hattah.

“I love racing at Hattah,” Wilksch said. “It’s a fun but tough race and I love the layout of the track. I’m feeling good at the moment and the new 300 SE Factory model is a weapon. I’m not predicting anything other than to give it my best shot.

“The bike is solid and it’s handling perfectly so I’m just really keen to get racing.

“That’s where the talking is worth nothing and racing is everything. I would love to win my class so we’ll see what I can do.”

Trigg and Wilksch will both kick off the Hattah Desert Race weekend by meeting and greeting fans at the official race scrutineering today from 3pm at Quandong Park, Red Cliffs.

Race prologue is at 9.30am tomorrow, and the main race starts at 9.30am Sunday at Boonoonar Road, Colignan.