News 11 Jun 2014

Active8 Yamaha thwarted by illness at Finke Desert Race

Green defies stomach bug as top Yamaha in fourth outright.

Image: Fourohfour.

Image: Fourohfour.

A mystery stomach bug that saw both Active8 Yamaha’s Josh Green and Tom McCormack in hospital in the lead up and during the 2014 Finke Desert Race, ruined the teams’ chances for a top result at the iconic event last weekend.

Despite constant vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as getting treatment in hospital throughout the event, Green battled his way to an impressive fourth place finish in the two-day event.

Green literally turned green the day prior to the prologue stage and checked himself into hospital to seek treatment and get fluids into him via a intravenous drip. He then returned for the Prologue stage to post a qualifying position inside the top 15 before returning to hospital and again going on a drip.

Amazingly, he was cleared for racing and went on to finish the run from Alice Springs to Finke on day one in fourth place outright.

Day two and still not even close to 100 percent, Green was out to finish the event and secure a top five finish. In what must be considered the ironman performance of the event, Green bought his YZ450F home in fourth place and just missed a podium finish Outright yet managed second in the 450cc division.

“That wasn’t much fun,” Green recalled. “I felt weak, dehydrated and generally not well and this isn’t the kind of race you want to feel anything less than 100%, so my focus was just trying to get through it as best I could.

“Finishing fourth isn’t bad under the circumstances but as a team we did a lot of work for this event and it’s disappointing to get sick as it was about to start.

“The team again did a great job and gave me a lot of support both in the lead up and during the race and the bike was awesome, I just wish I could have given them 100 percent in return.”

Teammate Tom McCormack succumbed to the same virus and was unable to compete. McCormack battled through the Prologue stage and like Green, seeked hospital treatment in the hope of feeling better on race day. Unfortunately for McCormack, he was unable to get a medical clearance to compete and didn’t start the event.

“I’m shattered! I feel like I have let a heap of people down as I couldn’t even start the race,” McCormack said. “I was really looking forward to this event and worked hard in the lead up to prepare so to not even get the chance to race is hard to take.”

Beau Ralston participated in his first Finke event and produced a very respectable 13th place. Mounted on a YZ450F, Ralston gained valuable experience in his debut race and looks forward to returning next year and putting that knowledge to use.

“It’s not like any other race I have done,” Ralston said. “Everyone had told me about it but it’s nothing like it until you experience it. I learned a lot about bike set up, reading the terrain and what I need to do to prepare so I look forward to the 2015 race and achieving a better result.”

Adventure racer and current Australian Safari Champion Rod Faggotte, also lined up with the Active8 Yamaha team and managed to win the 35-39 years Vets class, as well as pull down 22nd place outright.

Yamaha also won the ATV division with Mitchel Van Vliet making it back to back victories at Finke on his YZF450.