AORC

Husqvarna Racers Ready For Sandy South Aus

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Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team riders Lachy Stanford and Glenn Kearney will join the rest of Australia's elite cross-country motorcycle racers in sampling the new Karoonda venue for the first time, as rounds five and six of the Australian Off-Road Championships take place in South Australia.

For the second consecutive round, riders will face a challenging three-hour cross-country on the Saturday, then fight through the muscle soreness to find maximum speed for the shorter sprint races on Sunday ‰ÛÒ with both in energy-sapping sandy conditions.

Husqvarna FE 350-mounted Lachy Stanford leads the charge for the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team, currently holding fifth place in the overall standings and second in the E2 class. The Byron Bay ace has been putting plenty of effort into sand training in an attempt to repeat the outright podium finish he achieved at the series opener in Queensland in March.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs been a nice lead-up to this race and I've been riding heaps, a lot of sand." Stanford said. "Sand has never been my favourite thing in the past but it's pretty much turned into my favourite thing now because I've been riding it so much.

"We've got a really good training group going, I've been spending a bit of time with Kirk Gibbs and Hollis, who‰Ûªs up here now and we‰Ûªve been doing a lot of speed work. I think I‰Ûªve picked up a couple of seconds in the sand so we‰Ûªll find out.

"The South Australian crew put on really good events, so I'm looking forward to the weekend.‰Û
Husqvarna team boss Glenn Kearney continued his steady progress back from major off-season ankle surgery at the last AORC round, and last year's E3 champion and outright number three is certain he can continue to find improvement in conditions he likes.

‰ÛÏFive weeks has just flown by, I raced a round of the New South Wales Enduro Championship last weekend and got a win and a second." Kearny said. "It was a good hit out, being the same format as this weekend's AORC.

"I've been doing a few kays in the car lately driving to sand tracks, and going into the weekend I'm pretty excited; another cross country, so I‰Ûªm happy about that. It‰Ûªs a new venue, so there‰Ûªs a little bit of unknown there, they reckon it's could be pretty similar conditions to Hattah, with a bit of a fast, flowy track and Lachy and I both enjoy that stuff.

"But until we get there, nobody really knows. To me, I'm just looking for more improvement from the first round - the ankle‰Ûªs feeling fairly solid, so I'm looking forward to another race.‰Û
Fraser Higlett - Credit: Kait Pascoe
After winning three of four rounds so far, fifteen year-old Brisbane racer and Enduro-X Nationals Junior winner Fraser Higlett will carry the lead of the J4 (15 years 250cc and 125cc) class into Karoonda, and hopes to use his Husqvarna FE 250 to maintain his position at the head of the junior rankings.

‰ÛÏI've been riding lots, training on the bike, the usual." Higlett commented. "I've done a few motocross events, some of the Sunshine State events just for training - not taking it too seriously but still trying to get the best result I can.

"Motocross gets the aggression up a bit and that's important in the cross countrys. I've heard it's some pretty deep sand with some pine forests where we're going - a bit technical, so I'm pretty keen for that.

"I like the sand, it is something different from all the hard pack around. I've got three firsts and a second so far, so Ben Kearns isn‰Ûªt that far behind ‰ÛÒ I can‰Ûªt get lazy!‰Û

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