One of the most successful outfits in Australian off-road racing in 2014, the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team has returned for 2015 with a renewed focus and a determination to keep accumulating titles and race wins.
At the hands of Glenn Kearney and recently-retired veteran Damo Smith, the team won two Australian enduro championships and two AORC (Australian Off-Road Championship) titles in its very first year, and will begin its second season at this weekend’s first round of the InsureMyRide Enduro-X Nationals at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway on Saturday.
For 2015 the team will take on a more compact, two-rider shape, with multiple Australian enduro champ Kearney again handling the Team Management and E3 class duties aboard the muscular Husqvarna FE 500, and flanked by rising Byron Bay star Lachlan Stanford.
The team’s decision to focus its energies more sharply will enable a step up from amateur to full-time professional status for Stanford, who will remain in the premier E2 category but make a machinery switch to the lighter and more nimble Husqvarna FE 350 as he shoots for his dreams of becoming a regular podium finisher in a world-class competition.
In Brisbane however, Stanford’s teammate will not be Kearney – who continues his recovery from off-season ankle surgery – but rather American Enduro-X specialist Mike Brown who returns as guest rider for the Husqvarna team for each of the three Enduro-X championship rounds.
The popular Enduro-X format pits off-road racers against each other and the clock around a specially constructed course of natural and man-made obstacles, and Brown won the final round of last year’s championship to finish sixth overall despite missing a round.
For more information on Husqvarna motorcycles visit http://www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney (FE501): “I’m really excited coming into the new year, it seemed cannot really quick actually. I’m happy to have Lachy back onboard this year, he’s proved a lot as a young guy, and this year we are looking to see him right up the pointy end consistently. He’s been there sporadically in the past but were looking for to do all the time this year and I think he can. He is moved to the FE 350, the same class but on the smaller, more nimble 350, and in all the preseason training he’s been doing he’s been really enjoying it. I’ll be on board the 500 in E3 again, looking to defend my class title and get some strong results again for the year. I’m going to sit out the enduro cross series because I’m still coming back from some ankle surgery I had during the off-season. So we’ve got Mike coming in from the US to do all three rounds for us this year. He’s in enduro cross specialist so we’re looking for good results from him.”
Lachy Stanford (FE350): “I’m happy to be working under Glenn again, he runs the team really well. They stepped it up each year, in terms of the parts and support, so we’re riding with the best stuff now, and hoping to have a good year. This year I am chasing out rights and I want to be up the pointy end of the field for the whole year. It’s really good that there are some world-class riders in there to compete against, so it’s great that Glenn has chosen me to do the job, and this is the year to get it done. He’s given me the opportunity to ride full time this year, so it’s just up to me now. I’m excited about the enduro championships, I only did one last year, but I reckon it’s going to be good fun.”
Mike Brown (FE350): “I enjoy racing down here, I like the tracks – I think the tracks are better here than they are at home. My main goal this year is American stuff so it’s really good to be back here getting a head start on everybody else. I only got here today, but I’ve been in the ocean already, with the jellyfish at Byron Bay. It was the first time I’ve ever been in the ocean in Australia, so that was awesome. Then I went out for a little mountain bike ride and we’re back at Lachy’s house now. I’ll be riding the 350 this weekend; it’s the perfect bike I think. It’s easy to ride because the power is in the right place. Everybody now seems like that kind of switching back to the two-stroke, so next week when I go back home to California to test I think I might try the 300 two-stroke and see how that is.”
2015 Australian Enduro-x Nationals Dates and Venues:
Archerfield Speedway, Saturday 7th February 2015
Sydney Dragway, Saturday 28th February 2015
Calder Park Raceway, Saturday 14th March 2015