Long and Davie complete new-look factory-backed team.
Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia has expanded its effort for the 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race, scheduled for this weekend at Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
The new-look Husqvarna Motorcycles Desert Racing Team will field last year’s runner-up and renowned South Australian desert racer Ivan Long, while youthful talent Sam Davie completes the line-up under the guidance of former Dakar Rally contender David Schwarz.
“It’s been a hectic lead-up for us heading into Finke, adding another rider to the team after we did well last year,” Long commented. “It’s definitely a good thing for us, the Husqvarna Motorcycles Desert Racing Team has been a really positive step and we are looking forward to getting into the race week now.
“I’ll be on the Husqvarna FE 450 again, so it will be good if we can back up that class win again, and if that happens the outright will sort itself out from there. There’s been a lot of effort going in off the bike this year, which has been paying off so far in my training, and it should be a really good run down to Finke and back for us once again.”
For Davie, who placed fifth in last year’s edition of Finke, says training with teammate Long has been beneficial in his preparations, stating it’s the most positive lead-up to event he’s had in his career.
“I’m excited for this year’s race and the support from Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia is really good for us as a team,” said Davie. “Working and riding with Ivan has pulled my pace along, so I am really comfortable at the moment and now look forward to the race to get underway.
“We’ve been up here three times this year, which has been important, and we’ve really progressed in terms of the bike settings together. This is the best prepared I have been heading into Finke, so hopefully it goes our way and we can come away with a strong result in the end.”
Finke is recognised as the richest off-road events in Australia, attracting over 600 competitors across the multiple categories that race over a challenging and demanding 460-kilometre course.