HQVA press release:
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders has taken a dominant victory at the 2018 Hattah Desert Race, leading Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout and then going on to the brand’s first-ever outright Hattah win on Sunday.
Sanders, who had finished runner-up for the past two years running, lodged a flying 2m36.256s lap-time of the Prologue course in qualifying to seal the pole position, which set the scene for what was to come on race-day near Mildura, Victoria.
With a fastest lap of 29m31.044s, Sanders rode his factory Husqvarna FE 501 to an advantage of 1m06.175s at the conclusion of eight laps in a total time of 4h15m22.802s. It was a brilliant performance that enabled him to cruise home on the final lap to the outright and Over 450cc Four-Stroke class victories in dry, dusty conditions that resulted in unrelenting square-edged bumps as the race wore on.
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team newcomer Fraser Higlett was also impressive at Hattah on-board his Husqvarna FE 450, capturing a fine third in the 251cc-450cc Four-Stroke category. That handed the Queenslander eighth overall, with a total time of 4h28m39.848s after improving on his qualifying position of 19th. Even more impressive was the fact that he lost considerable time during a scheduled pit-stop in the mid-stages.
Next up for the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team will be rounds five and six of the Australian Off-Road Championship in Dungog, New South Wales, where Sanders and Higlett will resume their national title campaigns alongside regular teammate Lachlan Stanford.
Christian Horwood – Team Manager, Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team: “We’re absolutely over the moon to get the outright win at Hattah. ‘Chucky’ has put a mammoth effort leading up to this event and the whole team’s worked really hard, so it’s a big reward to get our first win – the Husqvarna FE 501s didn’t miss a beat. It was dominant ride for Daniel, controlling the race from the front, so we are of course really happy with the result. Fraser was also very impressive, making his way from 19th all the way to sixth by lap four, but then he had an issue in the pits. He ended up eventually finishing eighth, which was third in the 450 class, so we’re wrapt with the results from each of them and thank all of our supporters who were involved.”
Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna FE 501: “To qualify quickest was definitely positive and it was a gnarly race, one that was awesome to lead from start to finish for the win. The plan was to throw the hammer down straight away, to try pull a gap and maintain it, which we were able to do in the end. It was really dry and dusty, a hard race, but I just stayed focused and got the job done. I couldn’t thank the guys at the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team enough for their efforts and it’s been a real team effort that has led to this result, so we’re really happy to get this victory together.”
Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna FE 450: “To finish eighth overall was a good finish for me and to be third in class was an even better result. It definitely wasn’t an easy race in the dry conditions, but the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team did everything they could to support me and I am really thankful for that work they put in and the bike they built for me to race. I had to push hard all the way to the end, so I was happy to finish inside the top 10 after a problem in the pits and now I’m already looking forward to coming back and racing again next year.”