NSW rider Toby Price (#X98 KTM 450) appears to have partially followed the race plan he made after setting yesterday's fastest time in prologue - namely to "build up a gap and then cruise" - when he arrived first into the overnight stop on Day 1 of the 2012 Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Price, who won the event in 2010, made the 226 kilometre journey from Alice Springs to Finke in a time of 1 hour 57 minutes and 55 seconds.
He was followed by Alice Springs competitor, David Walsh (#11 Honda CRF450R), who set a time of 2 hours 2 minutes and 42 seconds.
Price led Walsh by 57 seconds at Deep Well (67km), then by 1 minute 48 seconds at Rodinga (98km). At Bundooma (140km) the gap was 2 minutes and 37 seconds, then it was out to 3 minutes and 27 seconds at Mt. Squires (172 kms) and by Finke it was 4 minutes and 47 seconds.
The pace of Price's run however indicate he was in "high cruise" mode given that his time was 20 seconds faster than the Day 1 time set last year by teammate, Ben Grabham.
Price will be looking for a good run home tomorrow to make up for last year's disappointment when he suffered a mechanical DNF on Day 1.
Third into Finke was Todd Smith from NSW (#4 Honda CRF450R) in a time of 2 hours 7 minutes and 28 seconds.
The bike field leaves Finke for the run back to Alice Springs tomorrow at 11.30am CST with the leading competitors expected at approx. 1.30pm.
Top 10 bike results - Day 1
1. Toby Price 01:57:55
2. David Walsh 02:02:42
3. Todd Smith 02:07:28
4. Matthew Fish 02:08:37
5. Craig Carmichael 02:09:23
6. Jack Dooley-McDonnell 02:09:40
7. Daymon Stokie 02:10:16
8. Jarrod Bewley 02:10:36
9. Jared Ewin 02:10:43
10. Shane Cole 02:10:53