Dirt Track

Young Husqvarna Aces On A Roll In Canberra

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Husqvarna Factory Support racers Max Croker and Billy Van Eerde made their presence known in no uncertain terms at Fairbairn Park Raceway in the ACT, putting the marque on top of the podium in the prestigious Kings and Queens event.

The race saw a high-quality track and similarly high quality of opposition, and on Fairbairn‰Ûªs challenging, undulating track and changeable surface, 17 year-old Newcastle ace Max Croker found the high-speed conditions to his liking. The part-time road racer adapting quickly and powering to victory in the Pro 250 ranks on a Husqvarna FC 250 he had only just finished running in.

Croker backed it up by pushing his Husqvarna FC 450 to second place in the Pro 450 class, then went on to show himself very much a title contender in the premier Unlimited Category, before a small mistake cost him his chance of victory. After being initially baulked by another rider, Croker charged hard to put himself into contention, but was forced to accept second place after he slipped off the grippy blue groove.

‰ÛÏIt was pretty tough competition, a few of the big Australian names were there and to be honest I hadn't ridden the 250 because we had only just finished running it in, but I got on it and it was unbelievable. I didn‰Ûªt expect it. It had so much grunt and it just handled perfectly - it was beautiful!" Crocker enthused.

"This is probably one of my favourite tracks now, it's got a fast kink and a lot of downhill and uphill, and I like my faster tracks - being a road racer.

"I was battling for first in the Pro Open, but unfortunately I made a couple of mistakes. I got out of the start okay but Ian Hamilton pulled a gap on me when someone made a mistake in front of me. But then as I was going into a corner I just ran wide into the slick dirt.

"We‰Ûªd changed from the knobby front and trials rear to the American dirt track tyres my team mate Billy Van Eerde lent me, so I was in trouble out in the loose dirt.

"It was an unreal event, with a lot of great racing; I haven't ridden dirt track for so long ‰ÛÒ only since I got the ride with Husqvarna. Out here I just felt like I hadn't really lost it. To be battling with some of the best on a track that I'd never ridden on, and with the potential to win on the 450, it was awesome."
In the Pro Lites ranks, 13-year-old rising star and Casey Stoner Cup winner Billy Van Eerde overcame an initial challenge before going on to dominate - Credit: Brian Thomso
In the Pro Lites ranks, 13-year-old rising star and Casey Stoner Cup winner Billy Van Eerde overcame an initial challenge before going on to dominate the ranks on his Husqvarna FC 250, winning all three heats as well as the final ahead of Mack Childs and Kye Andrews.



‰ÛÏI won all three of my heats and ended up winning the final." Van Eerde commented. "The track got a blue groove so we ended up running the 19 inch American set up, but it was fun.

"The first heat I was battling with a slider; when you are behind one it's pretty scary because it always looks like they're going to slide out in front of you because they are just laying it down so much. But then you can catch them a bit out of the corners when they spin up.

"I won the second and third pretty comfortably. In the final I had a fairly easy run. The new ‰Û÷16 Husky just handles really well in any conditions and is nice and light with good power ‰ÛÒ it‰Ûªs fun to ride!

"We've been down to Raymond Terrace a bit recently practising with the seniors and I think this has helped me gain experience and get a bit better on the bike," he concluded.

Top Image: roker backed it up by pushing his Husqvarna FC 450 to second place in the Pro 450 class

Credit: Fotenx Photography

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