News 11 Jul 2017

Grabham gritty at Hattah for Husqvarna off-road team

HQVA press release:

Husqvarna Off-Road team rider Broc Grabham has made a switch to the might Husqvarna FE 501 a successful one, pushing to his best ever result in the Hattah Desert Race yesterday.

The Bathurst rider, who rides an FE 450 in AORC competition, got away smoothly from his tenth-place starting position and used the extra torque of the FE 501 to progress to eighth by the half way point.

As the track chopped dramatically, however, Grabham’s left hand began to blister badly, and he had to grit his teeth to get through the final two hours to the finish.

With his hand looking more and more tattered and the track offering increasingly fewer opportunities for respite, the Bathurst rider was forced to dig deep in the final quarter of the event when his senior team mate Lachy Stanford appeared on the radar after a difficult race.

Grabham held out for eighth overall and fourth in class.

Stanford had gone to Hattah intent on improving upon last year’s sixth place finish, but suffered a front-end lose in the opening corners and lost a mountain of track position.

He’d redressed most of it by the end of the first lap, however, the leading group had all disappeared into the distance and the best the Byron Bay ace could do was 10th overall and sixth in class.

The race victory went to Daniel Milner, ahead of Daniel Sanders and Lyndon Snodgrass.

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Christian Horwood “Hattah is always the toughest event on the calendar, and this one was no different. It started off well in Prologue yesterday with Lachy fourth and Broc tenth, then in the shootout Lachy unfortunately ended up ninth, so his start today was back in the field a little bit. He made a few errors on the first lap with some crashes and spent the day battling through and trying to improve his track position. Broc had some major blisters in his hands to contend with for the last half of the race, but he did really well considering his hands were a mess and it would have been very hard to hang on. To have both riders finish in the top ten, and to have the whole top twelve filled with KTMs and Husqvarnas was very good to see and it shows the quality of our product. Our mechanics Kevvie, Dave and Lewie did a fantastic job with the fuel stops, so that all went very smoothly.”

Broc Grabham (FE 501): ““It wasn’t too bad here, I prologued tenth here yesterday, so I was in a decent position early – I think I was sixth. We had to fuel the first two laps because we weren’t too sure of our range, and lucky I did because I used quite a lot on the first lap. From there I kept charging away – I think I was ninth – battling with a couple of boys. Then about half way my left hand started falling to pieces with blisters. The skin was all rolled up from the middle of my palm up to my fingers. It made it really hard to hang on in the second half of the race. A lot of the time I was coming into corners one-handed doing 120 and just letting go and hoping for the best! With two to go I saw Lachy was trying to catch me and I thought ‘Oh well, I’ve got to try and pin it’ and stay where I am. Everything worked perfectly for me, my body felt great, the bike handled perfect and the crew did everything we needed to. Just my hand let me down a bit. So I’ll have to come back next year and do it again!”

Lachy Stanford (FE 501): “I’m pretty disappointed to get tenth here. I tucked my front in the first few corners and went down. It was hard to get back up through the freight train of bikes and into the mix and by the time I did the front pack just left me behind. I put a charge in, but didn’t have a good enough feel to make a dent. With fuel stops and everything the team went really well – the boys were pretty quick. My 501 was awesome fun on the straights, it was sick! It’s always good to get out here and open them up in the desert, just to see what they’ve got. Such good fun!”