Husqvarna three-pronged MX1 MX2 attack
Husqvarna Australia has chosen a very exciting trio of factory-backed riders with which to target the Australian MX1 and MX2 championships and selected other events in 2015.
While the brand itself might be among the oldest and most respected in world motocross, the Australian squad features three of the youngest and fastest rising prospects in Aussie motocross.
The big news for some will be that all three riders will be mounted on four-stroke machinery, as the factory aims to prove that it has not one, but two super-competitive models in the 250cc category.
Fresh from a highly successful KTM factory team guest ride which netted him fifth in the premier class of the Australian Supercross championships, 17-year-old Sunshine Coast ace Jesse Dobson has earned a seat on the Husqvarna squad’s FC 450.
He’ll be joined by two MX2 competitors, starting with SD3 Husqvarna rider Luke Arbon, the 22-year-old who took the challenge right up to the championship favourites in MX2 this year, taking six race wins and three round wins on a TC 250 Husqvarna.
Under-19 Vice champion Nathan Crawford showed his devastating turn of speed on numerous occasions this year, and back as early as May, the 17-year-old advertised his readiness for promotion when he narrowly pipped Arbon to win his second of two MX2 cameo appearances.
Tam Paul – Husqvarna Brand Manager: “I’m very excited about Husqvarna’s prospects for 2015. We’ve got the best of both worlds with our two-and four-stroke models and even after the incredible success of 2014 we can switch engine formats and still expect to be highly competitive.
“Nathan Crawford is still only 17, and it will be his second year on Husqvarna after coming a very close second in the U19 championship this year. So he is returning as a key developing rider.
“Luke Arbon was a revelation getting onto the Husqvarna and challenging for the MX2 title, so we are very happy to have him returning and moving over to the four-stroke with some great backing from the SD3 Husqvarna team.
“Jesse Dobson is going into his second year in the 450 class after a very successful stint with the KTM Motocross Racing Team in the Supercross championship. He also has a history with KTM as a junior rider, so these guys aren’t new for us, they are known quantities.
“I believe both Nathan and Luke will challenge for the championship next year, and Jesse is still a young guy in the top-tier class with factory support rather than a full-blown factory ride. I believe he can push up towards the top five next year. He’s very strong, strong-minded, has a lot of talent, and will really benefit from that year under his belt.
“There’s also likely to be some more exciting developments in the very near future which will further enhance our presence at national level.”
Jesse Dobson – FC 450 “I’m pretty pumped to be working with basically the same crew that I worked with for the Supercross championship, and I think that we can keep the ball rolling into next year. The bike’s awesome and I’ve gelled with it a lot. Everyone says it’s a KTM but it’s actually a bit different, I was quite surprised. I’ll be using full factory suspension. It’s basically the same deal as I was on for the supercross with KTM and I’m really happy to have Apro doing my suspension and building the bikes. That’s what got me over the line straight away. I’m really pumped about that but also to be involved with such a new brand, that’s also such an old brand. That’s pretty cool.”
Luke Arbon – FC 250 “I’m definitely excited for next year, this year I didn’t really start the season with much preparation, but this time I’m coming in with a full off season and I’ll be riding and training flat out to be 100% ready by the time the first round comes around. I’m definitely happy with the support from SD3 Husqvarna, and I reckon we’ll be a team to be reckoned with. I’m excited for that first round to come around. It’s exciting to be back on the four-stroke; the two-stroke was an awesome bike, but I feel the Husky 250 four-stroke is definitely a good bike to start with. Straight out of the box it’s got a lot of power, so we’ve got a great bike to work with and I’m looking forward to racing it, and winning races on it.”
Nathan Crawford – FC 250 “I had a pretty successful year last year with Husqvarna so it would be a bad decision to go elsewhere. I love the 250F; it’s a bit of a different kettle of fish but I’m starting to get there slowly now. I can’t wait to start doing some testing down in Sydney with everyone and getting my race bike underway. I’m just looking forward to racing MX2; I’ve had a little bit of experience there, but not a lot, and I’m looking forward to getting out of Under 19’s and mixing it up with the big guys. For me I feel the sky is the limit, I know that I can win, so, anything can happen. I’m not having expectations because I know it is not going to be an easy year but, I know I can be at the front. I think going to the four-stroke benefits me and my career in the long run, and the only reason I was on a two-stroke last year is that it was cheaper for my dad. This year we are getting that factory support that we need, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be on a four-stroke. And the Husky four-stroke is awesome.”