Australasian Safari- Day 1

The long road has begun, with an early start in Southern Cross. After being rudely awaken by the boys returning from the pub at midnight, it was painful to hear the alarm go off at 5 this morning. Things are a little harder to plan this year as we don’t receive our maps until half 6 in the morning, so trying to plan the day’s movements is quite difficult. I also have ADB’s Adam Riemann tagging along when he’s not on the bike. We only made it to one location today, so are limited on images. Todays leg went from Southern Cross to Leonora.

The first day has seen Ben Grabham finish the day 1min 29 secs in front of  Jacob Smith. Shane Diener is just over 5 minutes behind Grabham in 3rd. Todd Smith and Matt Fish round out the top 5. Honda’s A.J. Roberts is out of the race after having a collision with Todd Smith in the first stage. Safari hasn’t been kind to Roberts after he crashed out of last years event.

Tomorrow is a marathon day with a loop back to Leonora.

This is the official media release;

Dramatic first day sees Grabham in the lead and Roberts out of the event.

The first leg of Australasian Safari 2010 started in spectacular fashion today when the first and second moto starters crashed following a navigation error by Todd Smith in only the first stage.

Todd managed to get back on the bike uninjured but AJ Roberts, who started second today, did not fare as well, requiring a transport to Kalgoorlie Hospital with a suspected broken wrist, ending his chances of a Safari 2010 podium finish.

Todd managed to travel on through the stage but trouble struck again when he came off again after losing a back brake, and after finishing the last stage is nursing a sore shoulder. He finished the leg in fifth position.

Two-time Safari winner Ben Grabham had a strong and uneventful day, making it through the stages without any problems, finishing the leg in first position, followed by last year’s moto winner Jacob Smith.

“I had a good day, didn’t find anything tricky and just tried to keep my riding consistent,” Ben said.

“After Todd dropped back and AJ was out, I found myself in the lead after the first stage, which I didn’t really want to do as I haven’t navigated in a race for a year or so.

“The last stage was really tricky to navigate, but I knew I just had to take my time.”

Jacob Smith said he also had difficulty in the last stage where the track was badly overgrown, making it a huge challenge for the earlier riders.

“I had a really tough day, and had trouble before I’d even started the first stage with an oil leak which I think lost me five or six minutes, but at least I’ve made it back.”

A number of bikes didn’t manage to finish the Leg and the remainder are gradually returning to the Leonora camp.

The 356 competitive kms (579kms in total) from Southern Cross north east to Leonora provided a score of challenges including anthills, large sections of badly rutted dirt, salt lakes and a crossing of the Trans Australian Railway.

Considered one of the world’s great endurance events, the Australasian Safari will travel from Southern Cross in the wheatbelt through to the historic Western Australian goldfields, desert, rugged bush and coastal sand dunes, finishing at Esperance.

Results at the time of release are provisional. For full results, go to  Auto results to be released shortly.

Follow the event action at

CPW KTM’s Ben Grabham

CPW KTM’s Todd Smith.

GHR’s Jacob Smith.

Brazil’s Ze’ Helio.

Alice Spring’s Michael Vroom.

Kalgoorlie’s Paul Nappy

Riemann waiting patiently for the leaders to make an appearance.


~ by Jamie Nicolaou on September 19, 2010.

6 Responses to “Australasian Safari- Day 1”

  1. woken up by the boys coming home from the pub? or coming home with the boys from the pub at midnight??? pics look great!!

  2. Great stuff Jamie. Sharp, great colours, must be a Nikon! MMM you might have to book a sensor clean looking at all that dust!

  3. Rockin’ shots Jamie! Particularly like the one of Michael Vroom (is that really his last name?), the intensity of concentration on his face evident through all the gear.

    • Hi Charlene. Cheers for the comment. Yes that is his name…….quite appropriate seeing he rides dirt bikes. He’s an Alice Springs fella. He’s probably concentrating so much cause he actually blew the previous corner and ended up in the scrub!!

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