As part of the worldwide re-launch of the most iconic brand in dirt bike racing, Australia’s brand new Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team has been unveiled just in time for this weekend’s second round of the KTM Enduro-X series at Parramatta Raceway.
Led by multiple Australian enduro champ and current AORC #3 Glenn Kearney, the team will include three official entries and one Husqvarna support rider, spanning the brand’s all new range of four-stroke enduro models.
Hailing from Picton, NSW, Kearney will step onto the new Husqvarna FE501, a move the vastly experienced 32-year-old is excited to make after four years on small-bore machinery.
He’ll be joined by two of the most exciting young chargers on the circuit, Byron Bay ace Lachlan Stanford (22) on the FE450 and FE250-mounted Scott Keegan (22).
The trio will be joined at selected events by Husqvarna support rider and Australian Veterans enduro champion Damian Smith, who will ride the FE350.
The team’s first official outing will be at Parramatta City Raceway for this Saturday’s second round of the KTM Enduro-X series, the popular format which pits off-road racers against each other and the clock around a specially constructed course of natural and man-made obstacles.
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney (FE501): “I’m really excited. I’ll be wearing two hats this year as rider and manager. It’s definitely a lot more work so I need to be much more efficient with my time. We’ve got a real strong team with Lachy and Keegan around and hopefully we’ll turn some heads. These are definitely two young guys with bright futures and I want to work with them and help bring them along. My new bike I love, I’ve been on smaller bikes for the last four years so the big girl is exciting and a real game changer for me. It’s a new point of focus and a source of motivation for me. With the short time frame we’re up against it a bit, but we’ve got a good base package and hopefully we’ll soon be battling the likes of KTM and Yamaha in the AORC.
At this weekend’s Enduro-X we’ll be turning up looking to be on the podium for sure. We’ll have Mike Brown spearheading for us since it’s his specialty and I’m sure we can expect big things.”
Lachy Stanford (FE450): “The FE450 is great straight out of the box. It has a completely different feel to the bike I raced last year but I’m feeling comfortable already and I haven’t changed settings much at all. It’s pretty impressive. I’m more of a big bore rider and the FE450 has plenty of power – I like having more!
My goal for the season is to get through injury free, put in 110% and stay amongst the top three. I really want to step up this year and with this bike I think it’s possible, and with Glenn managing it, it should all roll along pretty easily.
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Enduro-X. I haven’t competed in Enduro-X before but I’ve ridden on that style of track before and I don’t go too bad. I don’t know what to expect but I think I’ll be up there for sure.”
Scott Keegan FE250: “I’m really happy that Jeff gave me the opportunity to be on the team. It’s an easier transition for me compared to the other guys because the bike is fairly similar to my ‘Berg, I’m just getting used to the Husky linkage and I’m really liking the feel. I’m loving being on a 250 – the bike is super light to ride but still has fairly hard power. A 250F in enduro these days is pretty quick most of the time. It’s great to be in a new team so I want to win and do the best I can for the brand in its first year. I’ve known Glenn for a few years and he’s always really open with the knowledge he’s gained over a long career so I’m looking forward to working closely with him.
I’m looking forward to Saturday’s enduro cross. I enjoy racing against other people on track so you can see how everyone’s going at once, and it will be my first race since I broke my leg at the ISDE.”
Damian Smith (FE350): “I’m happy to get help from Husqvarna as a support rider. I’ve ridden Husqvarna for three years and had a heap of success so I want to bring my experience to the team’s younger guys and I hope I can help. I’m real excited to get on the new bikes – they’re an awesome bit of gear.
The 350 I’ve chosen is something I’ve really wanted to ride for a few years now, it’s a great size particularly for Vets racing. Last year I won my class in both the AORC and the 4-day and I hope to carry that on. I still get a lot of joy out of the sport even after 20 years and I hope to represent the brand really well and help the guys in the team, especially the younger guys, and have fun doing it. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be involved I hope I can do them proud.”
2014 KTM Australian Enduro-x Nationals Dates and Venues:
Brisbane Speedway, Archerfield Sunday 2nd February 2014
Sydney Speedway, Parramatta Saturday 15th February 2014
Melbourne Calder Park Raceway Sunday 2nd March 2014
The brand new Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team has been unveiled in time for this weekend’s round of the KTM Enduro-X series at Parramatta.
The team features (top to bottom) Glenn Kearney (FE501), Scott Keagan (FE250), Lachy Stanford (FE450) and Damien Smith (FE350).
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