Off Road

Husqvarna Australia Unveils 2014 Off-Road Race Team


As part of the worldwide re-launch of the most iconic brand in dirt bike racing, Australia‰Ûªs brand new Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team has been unveiled just in time for this weekend‰Ûªs 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‰Ûªs 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.

‰ÛÏI'm really excited." Kearney stated. "I‰Ûªll 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‰Ûªve got a real strong team with Lachy and Keegan around and hopefully we‰Ûªll 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‰Ûªre up against it a bit, but we've got a good base package and hopefully we‰Ûªll soon be battling the likes of KTM and Yamaha in the AORC.

"At this weekend‰Ûªs Enduro-X we‰Ûªll be turning up looking to be on the podium for sure. We‰Ûªll have Mike Brown spearheading for us since it's his speciality and I'm sure we can expect big thing," he added.
Lachlan Stanford Will race at Husqvarna FE450 in the E2 class in 2014 - Credit: Ikapture - Greg Smith
He‰Ûªll 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).

‰ÛÏThe FE450 is great straight out of the box." Stanford confirmed. "It has a completely different feel to the bike I raced last year but I‰Ûªm feeling comfortable already and I haven‰Ûªt changed settings much at all. It‰Ûªs pretty impressive. I‰Ûªm 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‰Ûªs possible, and with Glenn managing it, it should all roll along pretty easily.

"I‰Ûªm looking forward to this weekend‰Ûªs Enduro-X. I haven‰Ûªt competed in Enduro-X before but I‰Ûªve ridden on that style of track before and I don‰Ûªt go too bad. I don‰Ûªt know what to expect but I think I‰Ûªll be up there for sure.‰Û
Scott Keegan will look after Husqvarna's E1 Duties this year - Credit: Ikapture - Greg Smith
Keegan is just as excited to get his first race under the best for the new team.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm really happy that Jeff gave me the opportunity to be on the team." Keegan stated. "It‰Ûªs an easier transition for me compared to the other guys because the bike is fairly similar to my ‰Û÷Berg, I‰Ûªm just getting used to the Husky linkage and I‰Ûªm really liking the feel.

"I‰Ûªm 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‰Ûªs 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‰Ûªve known Glenn for a few years and he‰Ûªs always really open with the knowledge he‰Ûªs gained over a long career so I‰Ûªm looking forward to working closely with him.

"I‰Ûªm looking forward to Saturday‰Ûªs enduro cross. I enjoy racing against other people on track so you can see how everyone‰Ûªs going at once, and it will be my first race since I broke my leg at the ISDE.‰Û
Damien Smith will ride selected events in the Vets class for Husqvarna throughout 2014 - Credit: Ikapture - Greg Smith
The trio will be joined at selected events by Husqvarna support rider and Australian Veterans enduro champion Damian Smith, who will ride the FE350.

‰ÛÏI'm happy to get help from Husqvarna as a support rider." Smith commented. "I‰Ûªve ridden Husqvarna for three years and had a heap of success so I want to bring my experience to the team‰Ûªs younger guys and I hope I can help. I'm real excited to get on the new bikes ‰ÛÒ they‰Ûªre 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," he concluded.

The team‰Ûªs first official outing will be at Parramatta City Raceway for this Saturday‰Ûªs 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.

Top Image: Glenn Kearney will have a dual role in 2014 racing for and managing the new Husqvarna Australia Off-Road team.

Credit: Ikapture - Greg Smith

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