Husqvarna celebrate 40 years of Mountain Man
This weekend’s 40th anniversary Mountain Man Motocross event at Echo Valley Raceway in Toowoomba will hold a special significance for Husqvarna in Australia.
In line with the rich tradition of its brand, Husqvarna is itself etched into the history of this great event, after dominating for three years (1978-1980) at the hands of Pelle Granquist (two titles) and Robert “Beetle” Bailey.
Both legends will be on hand, and will attend Saturday evening’s Legend’s Dinner charity event where memorabilia will be auctioned, alongside another two-time winner, Husqvarna Australia’s General Manager Jeff Leisk.
A number of historically significant motorcycles will be on display at Echo Valley, among them Husqvarna Brand Manager Jon Hafey’s 1977 CR390, which he’ll use in anger during Saturday’s Pre-78 racing.
Sunday’s all-powers Mountain Man title event will feature two of Husqvarna’s most exciting young talents, SD3 Husqvarna’s Luke Arbon, and just-turned-senior AORC champion Fraser Higlett.
Higlett will compete abroad his new Husqvarna TE 300 (complete with headlight), while Arbon will ride his Husqvarna FC250, as well as a Husqvarna TC 125 supplied by Toowoomba Motorcycles in the 125cc Gold Cup.
Co-sponsored by Husqvarna Australia, the 125cc Gold Cup will see several other prominent ‘Husqvarna people’ face the starter; Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Technician (and former MX pro) Christian Horwood, as well as Queensland and New South Wales Brand Manager Nathan Crawford.
Jon Hafey – Brand Manager Husqvarna Australia – “It’s such a pleasure to be involved in this historic 40th Anniversary Mountain Man which holds so much history for Australian motocross in general and for Husqvarna specifically.
Husqvarna Australia is co-sponsoring the 125 Gold Cup and it will be exciting to see some prominent Husqvarna people out there on the track with Luke Arbon.
Queensland and New South Wales Brand Manager Nathan Crawford and our Enduro Team Technician Christian Horwood will also race the 125s, while the boss, Jeff Leisk will ride some display laps on Jesse Dobson’s Husqvarna FC 450 as well as attending the Legend’s Dinner.
It’s an historic event on a legendary track and I’m sure it’s going to be a really great weekend.”
Luke Arbon – FC 250, TC125 : “I’m excited to be coming up, Jon’s been talking to me about it and I think it looks like it would be a pretty fun event. Apparently it’s the 40th year so there’s a fair bit of interest.
“I know Leisky and a few of the old school top dudes are going so that will be pretty cool. There is also a fair bit of money involved so that makes it exciting as well!
“I missed the national there this year due to my illness, so I haven’t raced there for a few years now and it will be cool to go back, I’ve always enjoyed that track, it gets really rutty and with the hills and that it’s a cool track both to ride and spectate at.
“The last time I raced a 125, or even rode one, was 2006! Now Toowoomba Motorcycles is going to hook me up with one so that will be pretty awesome and I’ll be having a ride on it this afternoon. Can’t wait.”
Fraser Higlett – TE300 : “I went seniors the other day – I’ll be doing seniors at Wildwood which is coming up next week – and I got my new 300 off Jon, so I figured I may as well give it a shot.
“The 300 is pretty fast, you can ride around in the torque and just chug round, or you can open her up and she goes pretty crazy! For Hard Enduro it’s great, you can use the real low revs and it doesn’t stall, plus it’s around 5 kilos lighter and I can notice that.
“I raced Echo Valley probably a year ago there in the SEQ series. It was a while ago but I sort of know my way around the track. It’s a good track – even though it is an enduro bike I reckon the 300 will like the track with that bit more power on those steep hills.
“I’m not really expecting too much of myself, it’s just a bit of motocross practice on the enduro bike, so I’ll see how I go and have a bit of fun. I’ll be running the headlight and everything!”