Interviews 12 Jun 2019

Conversation: David Walsh

Factory KTM rider on his Finke victory, presented by Maxima Racing Oils.

North Star Pastoral KTM Desert Racing Team’s David Walsh dominated the 2019 Tatts Finke Desert Race, controlling the race from prologue right through to the chequered flag, claiming his maiden victory after 12 attempts. In this edition of Conversation, sits down with the newly-crowned King of the Desert.

Image: Foremost Media.

Congratulations on the victory mate – 12 attempts to win it, you must be relieved…

Yeah, I’m just happy to finally get it. It’s been 12 long years and a lot of work. But, it’s all worth it right now. It’s an amazing feeling.

You were first in prologue, fastest to Finke and obviously first back to Alice Springs. How did you manage being in control of the race right throughout?

It made it a bit easier when I got down and had a five-minute buffer – I knew I could get through the rough stuff a bit easier coming home, and that’s what I did – I just tried to salvage the bike and myself, and didn’t push when I didn’t have to.

Why do you think it all came together for you this year?

Honestly, I think I’m a bit older and a bit wiser. I’ve probably been smarter on the track and rode better lines – I honestly think being smooth and fast this year was something that really worked for me. I think that was the big change.

Image: Foremost Media.

You have a lot of family and friends here this weekend, and the whole town is behind you really. Describe the emotion of when you rode by the screaming fans at the finish line to collect your first ever Finke victory…

Look mate, I nearly burst into tears. The support I get from my family is incredible for this event. It’s the one-off race that I do, and it’s a dangerous event. I put them through the ringer all year just to prepare for it, and to have them by my side at the end, it just makes me so happy. I can’t thank them enough.

Can we expect to come back next year and defend the crown?

I’m not sure yet, that’s a conversation I’ve got to have with the missus [laughs]. We’ll see, I’d really love to run the number one plate. Time will tell!