Ouyen’s Nathan Trigg.

By MITCH RODD

SHERCO Racing team manager Derek Grundy believes Ouyen’s Nathan Trigg can finish at the pointy end of the field in the Finke Desert Race.

Australia’s great enduro race begins next Friday, June 8, as hundreds of bike riders, car drivers and buggy bandits aim to conquer one of the toughest off-road races in the world.

Trigg finished sixth outright in the 2017 race, and now with the backing of a Factory Team in Sherco, it is hoped he can finish even higher.

Grundy had brought the racing bikes of Trigg and stablemate Andy Wilksch to Mallee Motorcycles in Red Cliffs this week. Store owners Wayne and Luke Woodberry are the gurus when it comes to preparing a bike for desert races, thanks to their many years spent living and working in Alice Springs.

Trigg will aim to sweep the 450cc class, and will have his sights set on chasing four-time Finke, five-time Hattah Desert Race and 2016 Dakar Rally champion Toby Price.

“We believe Nathan is a huge chance of winning his 450cc class,” Grundy, INSET, said. “Outright…we know guys like Toby Price will be hard to catch but we’re hopeful he can be right up there when the whips are cracking.

“KTM and Yamaha are the factory teams that will be out in front. I believe we can run with Husqvarna.

“I think we have the speed to keep up with these teams, but certainly we don’t have the same resources. Freakish things can happen in motorsport though and if luck falls your way anything is possible. We believe we have riders that are good enough to really push to the pointy end of their classes.”

Grundy said the Sherco factory would be watching on with interest at the Finke Desert Rally, as it is an event outside of the norm for the French-built bikes.

“Sherco doesn’t do a lot of cross-country desert racing. The brand made its name more so with trials bikes so it’s a different form of racing,” he said.

“We have really strong engines that we believe punch above their weight.

“There is really strong interest from the Sherco factory into how these guys go.

“We brought the bikes to Luke and Wayne because they know the desert better than anyone.

“Their knowledge of desert racing is extensive. While we have assembled most of the bikes, they are doing the fine tuning.

“There are a lot of changes that have needed to be made to the bikes, which includes making them suitable for high speed gearing and prepare the suspension to be suitable for the big hits that come with desert racing.

“A lot of protective equipment is added as well. It can add a lot of weight but it’s all there for a reason and will pay dividends. We feel we have a good set-up where we have the balance of weight and protection right.”

To follow the progress of the Finke Desert Race, visit finkedesertrace.com.au.