Finke Desert Race double for Walsh – Price wins on four wheels
David Walsh has taken the motorcycle class outright victory at the 2021 Finke Desert Race in Alice Springs after the event was cut short when a spectator was fatally injured on the second leg.
The tragic loss of a spectator’s life, and injury to two others including the driver of the vehicle involved, happened on the second leg of the rally in Alice Springs. Organisers declared the event following the incident and that meant results for the bikes were determined from day one.
That gave Walsh his second-consecutive Finke Desert Race after blitzing the rest of the field by 4m23s on the first leg. His time was also 10 minutes quicker than his previous opening day benchmark. Walsh completed the 299-kilometre distance in a time of 1h45m34.9s aboard his KTM 500 EXC-F.
Second place went to Jack Simpson who had taken the prologue win by 3.9 seconds a day earlier. The pair battled for the lead early on before Walsh took control when the track opened up and pulled a gap.
“I’ve got pretty mixed feelings at the moment.” Said Walsh on his result. “It’s nice to go back-to-back, but to do it under these circumstances isn’t the way I wanted to achieve it. Coming into this year’s event I knew I’d done the work and that I’d be fast. KTM Racing Team had provided everything I needed, but I was conscious that even though I needed to push on the first leg yesterday, I still needed to leave something in the tank for the return. I wasn’t expecting to have a near four-and-a-half-minute lead and it allowed me to come into today feeling more relaxed than I usually would.
“Today was tough, but the race organisers made the right call and everyone’s safety is paramount. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families and friends of those involved in today’s tragedy.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally rider and multi-time Finke champion, Toby Price, made history by being the first person to take Finke wins on both two and four wheels.
Top 20 motorcycle class results, Finke 2021:
More information: www.finkedesertrace.com.au