Factory Husqvarna pilot salvages 14th in treacherous encounter.
Holding down a comfortable lead in torrential rain-soaked conditions, Daniel Sanders’ campaign for a second-consecutive Penrite Hattah Desert Race victory came to a halt when his bike suffered water damage to to its electrical system ahead of what would be the final lap.
The Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team rider was forced to stop as a result of the issue, and with the assistance of his team, he was able to continue, albeit 20 minutes behind where he previously was.
The conditions reached a point where event organisers declared the race halfway through at four laps, which saw the Victorian climb to 14th in the Outright standings.
“It’s very disappointing because the team and I put a lot of effort into this one event each year,” Sanders reflected. “Obviously the weather today played a part and we started strongly, but unfortunately, the issue meant we gave away the win because I felt as though the race was mine at that point.
“The track was full of puddles because of the rain falling and we were hitting them at high-speed, so that could have led to the problem. We ended up getting going again and I brought it home to the finish, but it wasn’t to be today.”
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team manager Christian Horner added: “All the boxes were ticked leading into Hattah this year and we were hoping for a strong result, especially after ‘Chucky’ was second in the Prologue. In the race he quickly got into the lead and was in a great position, before the torrential rain came and certainly made things challenging.
“He had a lead of over one-minute following a couple of laps, however, unfortunately, water in the electrics caused a problem toward the beginning of lap four. It was positive to see him get across the finish-line though to complete the race in the end.”
KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Milner was able to capitalise on Sanders’ misfortune to take out his second-career Hattah victory.