Sixteen-year-old Rosie Dray will become the youngest female dirtbike rider to compete in the 450km Finke Desert Race when she and her father Jeff leave the start line on Race Day 1 on Sunday 12 June
Sixteen-year-old Rosie Dray will become the youngest ever female dirtbike rider to compete in the 450km Finke Desert Race when she and her father Jeff leave the start line on Race Day 1 on Sunday 12 June.
Entered in the event’s Class 4 (up to 250cc four-stroke) on a KTM 250 SX-F, Rosie has been preparing for the gruelling race for the past nine months and told the <I>Mudgee Guardian<i> her goal is to cross the first day’s finish line under the four-hour limit required to qualify for day two’s race.
“[My plan is to] ride as fast as I can and if I make it within the four hours I’ll be so happy,” she said. “I will have to average just under 70km/h for the entire race, if I do make the time cut off I will be able to compete in the return leg. There are no handicaps in place so its all go.”
Harking from Mudgee in New South Wales’ Central West region, racing is certainly in the blood for the talented young rider. Growing up in a family fanatical about dirtbikes, her father Jeff runs a successful MX graphics business and has just stepped down as president of the Mudgee District Motorcycle Club after seven years in the role.
Jeff, who is lining up in this year’s Masters class on his KTM 500 EXC, will be supplying more than just encouragement and support to Rosie, as the 2016 event will be his second attempt at Finke. In the 2012 event, he was on track for a top-40 finish before he was forced to ride the last 150km with a flat front tyre which saw the Mudgee rider cross the line in 77th place. A highly credible result in a year where only 380 of the 600 entered riders finished. You can follow the pair’s progress via Instagram by searching @jeffdray_zeromx in the people tab.