News 10 Jun 2014

Grabham hails Price following third Finke win

KTM Desert Racing Team manager celebrating dual podiums.

Image: Damien Ashenhurst.

Image: Damien Ashenhurst.

Four-time Finke Desert Race winner Ben Grabham has credited Toby Price as the fastest-ever rider that he’s witnessed in the iconic Northern Territory event following his third-career victory on Monday.

Price completed a miraculous recovery from a broken neck sustained in the US last April to dominant the 2014 running of Finke, adding the title to his 2010 and 2012 success.

With Grabham now team manager of the factory KTM Desert Racing Team, the Bathurst racer has taken great delight in guiding Price and new teammate Ivan Long to first and third outright.

“The whole team has just done an amazing job,” Grabham said. “I’ve said it before; Toby is the fastest rider I’ve ever seen and I didn’t expect any less of him than this. I’ve won it four times, but this is one of the most satisfying feelings ever as a team manager to get two boys on the podium – Ivan for the first time, and Toby coming back.

“There is a massive group of boys and girls here, looking after all the aspects of our race without which we be nowhere and I’m very grateful to them.”

Grabham was a conservative 11th after racing through ongoing back and wrist injuries, but admits his focus was on Price and Long for the 2014 running.

“As for my race, I’d say the bike was amazing, but the rider was average,” he added. “My back and my wrist are making it tough to do what I used to do, and when you are four-time champ anything other than first place is disappointing, so my goal was always to get either Toby or Ivan across the line first, and to have been successful at that in my first go as team manager is fantastic.”

Grabham was victorious in the event during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons, as well as 2011.