Bell gives desert race red-hot go

Pilbara News - - Sport - Tom Zaun­mayr

A Pil­bara rider has come home from a suc­cess­ful foray into the big­gest dirt-track mo­tor­bike race in Aus­tralia.

Kar­ratha’s Nathan Bell fin­ished 12th in last month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race from Alice Springs to Aputula, among a co­hort of more than 500 rid­ers.

Bell fin­ished the two-day, 460km race in 4hr 54min. 52sec.1msec, about 43 min­utes be­hind the win­ning time.

Fel­low Pil­bara rid­ers Glen Tay­lor (134th), Luke Thom­son (159th), Lee Clarke (221st), Scott Risk (243rd), John Van Der Sluys (343rd), Ja­son Sh­mich (399th) and Peter Green (407) also fin­ished.

It was the sec­ond time Bell com­peted in the gru­elling race, hav­ing first given it a shot two years a go.

“I at­tempted the race in 2015 and didn’t fin­ish the race af­ter shred­ding a gear­box and crash­ing,” he said. “From there, it was pretty much a case of going back, learn­ing from the ex­pe­ri­ence, re­group­ing, get­ting a good pack­age to­gether and hav­ing a good red-hot crack in 2017.”

Faced with a rough and dusty course this year, fin­ish­ing 20th in the pro­logue, put Bell in a good po­si­tion for race day as he was able to get on the track be­fore too much dust was kicked up.

“Sit­ting there on the start line, you want to get out there, you want to go,” he said. “It is such a fast race; you are reach­ing speeds of up to 165km/h . . . I was very lucky to have a good pack­age and some solid helpers this year.”

Bell said he was not done with Finke yet, with plans to re­turn to bet­ter his 2017 fin­ish in the near fu­ture.

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