News 29 Jul 2009

Off-Road: KTM's Ben Grabham favourite for third Safari victory


2009 Finke Desert and Hattah Desert winner Ben Grabham will be looking to claim his third consecutive win in the Australian Safari set to take place from 1-8 August in Western Australia.

Ben Grabham will be riding the KTM 530 EXC in the M3 class with Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing, and for the first time under KTM colours he will be joined by his brother Damien Grabham ,also on board the 530 EXC.

The 2009 Australian Safari will start with a ceremony in Russell Square, Northbridge on Saturday 1 August, and the anticipated record field of around 100 competitors will then face a challenging 3,600 competitive kilometres over seven days.

A new course has been set for 2009 starting in Perth, and finishing in Kalgoorlie which is completely backwards to what was set last year.
Commenting on his entry Ben Grabham said, “This year’s Safari will be my first entry with Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing, and if my track record of winning desert racing continues as it has with Finke and Hattah, I’m hoping to take my third title.

“The course covers the same terrain as last year, but this time it is backwards and getting lost is highly likely with all the navigation. Everyone gets lost during at least one stage of Safari, so that doesn’t really worry me, I just need to ensure I’m on the gas in the sections that really open up.

“This year my brother Damien is riding under Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing with me. Damien is really excited about Safari, it’s his favourite event of the year, I think he looks forward to it more than I do. Together we’re really pleased to have our Race Team Manager, Brad Williscroft, who placed second in Finke supporting us.

“Brad’s experience and knowledge of racing to back us up during each day of the event will be invaluable. I’m confident with such a great team environment we can bring home the win for KTM.”

Race Team Manager, Brad Williscroft comments, “I did want to race in the Safari this year alongside Ben, but I do wear two hats as a racer with Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing and a Race Team Manager, so there are times when I have to make a decision to be one or the other,” said Williscroft.

“Ben really wants my support as Race Team Manager in this event, so I want to be there for him and Damien to ensure they get all the assistance they need with mechanics, coordination and reviewing map navigation each day.

“It’s really exciting for us to have Ben’s brother Damien on the team this year, last year Damien finished third, and showed great potential to cross the finish line only a few minutes behind Ben. With the extra support Damien will receive from Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing our goal is to go 1-2 in the 2009 Australian Safari.”

KTM will be posting daily picture blogs from the Australian Safari on where fans can review our results each day and catch some behind the scene action.