Alice Springs local David Walsh has ended the opening leg of the Tatts Finke Desert Race first of the motorcycle contenders.
Walsh rode his KTM 500 EXC from Alice Springs to Finke in 1 hour 55 minutes and 25.7 seconds, and holds a five minute advantage over his nearest challenger.
His time was only 11 minutes slower than overall cars leader Toby Price, and good enough for the fifth fastest of anyone for the day.
That comes from fellow Class 2 rider Jacob Smith, the Husqvarna FE 501 rider in turn more than two minutes clear of third placed Beau Ralston on another Husqvarna.
Behind Ralston is the first of the Class 5 runners, with Callum Norton, making the 226km journey to Finke in just over 2 hours and 2 minutes.
Class 6 rider Thomas Jones holds down ninth after the opening leg, while Class 1’s Kyle Pfitzner is also inside the top 20 on a KTM 300 EXC.
The mammoth 612-strong field includes former AFL player Tony Lockett aboard a KTM 500, the ex-Sydney Swans goal kicker ending the day inside the top 350 riders to reach the Alice.
The gruelling out-and-back race concludes tomorrow, with the return leg from Finke back to Alice Springs.
Again the bikes will depart follow the cars, which begin rolling out from 0715 local time/ACST.
Bikes: Leg 1, 2019 Tatts Finke Desert Race (Top 10)
|1||2||2||WALSH, DAVID||KTM 500 EXC||01:55:25.7|
|2||2||299||SMITH, JACOB||HUSQVARNA FE 501||02:00:26.4||+ 00:05:00.7|
|3||2||295||RALSTON, BEAU||HUSQVARNA FE 501||02:02:33.9||+ 00:07:08.2|
|4||5||X98||NORTON, CALLUM||KTM 450 EXC-F||02:04:03.2||+ 00:08:37.5|
|5||5||3||SIMPSON, JACK||HONDA CRF450R||02:05:46.1||+ 00:10:20.4|
|6||2||292||DAVIE, SAM||HUSQVARNA FE 501||02:06:10.5||+ 00:10:44.8|
|7||2||4||COLLINS, KENT||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:10:00.8||+ 00:14:35.1|
|8||2||291||TERRY, LACHLAN||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:11:53.4||+ 00:16:27.7|
|9||6||681||JONES, THOMAS||KTM 500 EXC||02:13:01.2||+ 00:17:35.5|
|10||2||282||WATERS, NICHOLAS||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:13:06.7||+ 00:17:41.0|
|11||5||5||GROVE, MARK||HONDA CRF450R||02:13:08.3||+ 00:17:42.6|
|12||5||9||ANDREWS, JERAKYE||YAMAHA YZ450FX||02:14:47.4||+ 00:19:21.7|
|13||2||6||GELLY, ANGUS||SHERCO 500 SEF||02:16:59.2||+ 00:21:33.5|
|14||2||13||BANKS, DANIEL||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:17:18.4||+ 00:21:52.7|
|15||5||15||CRANE, BRODIE||HUSQVARNA FE 450||02:18:25.6||+ 00:22:59.9|
|16||1||147||PFITZNER, KYLE||KTM 300 EXC||02:22:46.1||+ 00:27:20.4|
|17||5||X71||HEENAN, JAMES||HONDA CRF450R||02:23:16.0||+ 00:27:50.3|
|18||2||285||WATERS, BRODIE||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:23:55.4||+ 00:28:29.7|
|19||2||14||CARROLL, BRETT||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:28:55.0||+ 00:33:29.3|
|20||2||258||MCMILLAN-MOORE, JESSE||KTM 500 EXC-F||02:30:20.2||+ 00:34:54.5|