GRABHAM EXTENDS LEAD ON DAY 2 OF SAFARI
Bathurst's Ben Grabham, riding a Honda CRF 450X, has extended his lead in the Australasian Safari after day two of the event in outback Western Australia.
Grabham extended his advantage over his rivals to lead the seven-day enduro by over 14 minutes. Last year's runner-up, Condobolin's Jacob Smith, has moved up to second place on his Yamaha after a tough day for riders and their machinery.
Shane Diener slipped from second to thirteenth place, with Longreach (QLD) rider, Rod Faggotter, moving up one place to third on his Yamaha.
AFL legend, Tony Lockett, survived the long day unscathed. Making his Safari debut, Lockett's aim is to make the finish in Perth next Saturday, and to date, he's on track and lies in 35th place.
Grabham has dominated the event since the start in Kalgoorlie on Sunday morning, finding the terrain to his liking.
"The course was really good today -- longer, with real variation, which was good," Grabham said.
"We had a good clean day. There were a few really tight sections in the morning, but in the afternoon it opened up and was flat out. So far so good, but there's still five days to go," he added.
After a 5.30am start from Kalgoorlie, crews had an exhausting day that involved four stages with a total competitive distance of 381 kilometres. The route headed north west towards the overnight halt in Sandstone.
Stages included a variety of road conditions that presented station tracks and long runs along fence lines, interspersed with some twisty tracks to keep everyone honest.
There was plenty of rough and rocky terrain for competitors to negotiate, especially on the final stage of the day. At nearly 188 kilometres in length, it was extremely rough and rutted. Drivers and riders crossed the Goldfields Highway mid-way through the stage, before finishing near Sandstone.
The weather was again fine and dry with temperatures around the 20 degree mark, which was ideal for crews, although dust again made visibility a problem for some.
There's no respite for riders as they tackle a mammoth day tomorrow, with four stages and over 400 kilometres of competitive riding as they head north to Meekatharra.