Alice Springs rider Daymon Stokie was today crowned ‘King of the Desert’, winning the 2017 Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Stokie won the two day gruelling affair with a time of 4 hours 11 minutes 12.5 seconds on his Yamaha WR500F, marking the manufacturer’s first Finke win since 1986.
The battle for second was a nail-biting affair between South Australian Ivan Long (#X99 Husqvarna FE450) and Alice Springs competitor Luke Hayes (#6 KTM EXC500).
Long had finished fifth on the road at the overnight stop at Finke after blowing a tyre yesterday, but rode brilliantly today to make the podium.
Long’s total race time 4 hours 15 minutes 7 seconds, with Hayes completing the 452 kilometre race distance in a time of 4 hours 15 minutes 38.1 seconds.
The change in position between the second and third podium riders took place between the Deep Well checkpoint and the Alice Springs finish.
The hard luck story of the bike field belonged to Alice Springs rider David Walsh (#3 KT EXC500) who held a 5 minute 45.1 second lead over eventual winner Stokie at the overnight stop.
Sadly Walsh’s race today was over barely after it started with mechanical problems occurring just 10 kilometres from the Finke start.
Full results on the event web site: www.finkedesertrace.com.au