Todd Smith (above) surfaced with the fastest time on the first day just a few minutes ahead of his brother, Jacob Smith (below).
On the first leg of the 2011 Australasian Safari brothers Todd and Jacob Smith finished first and second, respectively. Todd Smith was more than three minutes ahead of the rest of the field as the rally covered the western outback where wildflowers significantly affected ground visibility.
Rod Faggotter finished the day in fourth with a time of 04:25 :41, followed by defending champion Ben Grabham, who suffered a crash over the handlebars. After taking a Panadol during a fuel stop, however, Grabham quickly recovered.
“Something happened when I was in first gear going through the grass,” said Grabham. “I wasn’t liking the conditions today, you couldn’t see anything in the long grass.”
Meanwhile Cyril Despres continued getting acquainted with the new format of racing and finished Leg 1 in sixth more than eight minutes behind Todd Smith.
“This is quite a different race for me and reading the navigation is like a different language,” said Despres. “I was not racing at 100 percent capacity today and it’s also the first day.”
Despite getting lost multiple times in the early half of the first stage, Shane Diener finished the first day in seventh.
“I sorted out my concentration by the second stage and am being a bit more cautious after breaking both my wrists earlier this year,” said Diener.
Australasian Safari Day 1 Results:
1. Todd Smith (Honda) 04:20:53
Cyril Despres finished Leg 1 in sixth place after struggling a bit with stage directions.
2. Jacob Smith (Honda) 04:24:03
3. Rod Faggotter (Yamaha) 04:25 :41
4. Ben Grabham (KTM) 04:26:33
5. Matthew Fish (KTM) 04:28:11
6. Cyril Despres (KTM) 04:29:09
7. Shane Diener (Yamaha) 04:29:57
8. Damien Grabham (Husaberg) 04:31:31
9. David Schwarz (Husaberg) 04:54:33
10. Garry Connell (Husaberg) 04:57:55
11. Ben Williams (Honda) 05:01:16
12. Paul Nappy (Honda) 05:07:40
13. Russell Scoble (Honda) 05:08:21
14. David Geeves (Honda) 05:08:29
15. William Coole (Husaberg) 05:13:36