Ex-Naracoorte lad Daymon Stokie is the toast of the offroad motorbike world after winning the legendary Finke Desert Race in the heart of Australia.
The Herald was lucky enough to catch him for a quick Q and A session after his win:
You have just become the first Alice Springs based rider to win the Finke Desert Race in 11 years. Is this the highlight of your racing career so far?
For sure, it's every local boy’s dream to win Finke
Has it always been a goal of yours to compete in and possibly win the Finke? How does it feel now that you've done it?
Yes, this is my seventh Finke, class wins were the goals initially only in the last couple of years I believed i could podium finish. It's an unbelievable feeling to get the win.
You did it with a broken hand. How did that happen and did it affect your ride in the Finke?
I broke two bones in my hand racing in WA at Easter, ended up having surgery in Perth with 6 screws in one bone and 9 in the other. It absolutely affected my ride, I only had two weeks prep and I'm far from 100%.
Apart from riding with a broken hand, what were the biggest challenges you faced during the race?
Preparation and bike fitness were way below previous years.
Were there any unusual or memorable incidents during the race?
On the way down I hit a square edge and damaged my front wheel which made it harder to steer the bike, this was replaced for the return trip.
Your family background is at Apsley and Naracoorte, how did you come to be living and riding in Alice Springs?
I moved to Alice when I was 6, got my first bike at 9 and started racing at 11.
You have now won a professional sponsored contract - what does that mean for your career?
It means my parents no longer have to pay all the bills :). Seriously it means now I have national support and the best equipment available.
What attracts you to tough races like the Finke and offroad motorbike riding in general?
Riding is addictive - there's no there's no better feeling than competing at this level.
What are some of your other achievements in your riding career?
Local pro lite & pro open mx events
1st Deep Well Moto cross
7 consecutive 12 hour Enduro victories
fastest 450 time in the history at Finke - 2016
8th Hattah Desert Race -2016
1st 24 hour at Glen Helen USA -2016
3rd Baja 1000 Mexico 2015
1st Baja 1000 Mexico 2016 (first Australian to win a Baja)
1st San Felipe 250-2017
1st Finke Desert Race 2017
What's next for you? Do you have other races or challenges in mind? What would be your ultimate race to compete in?
Obviously Finke next year, but first I need to have some time off to let my body heal.
- Daymon is the son of Jamie and Jacquie Stokie, of Naracoorte, and Melissa and Matt Bell, of Alice Springs.