Husqvarna Racing is about to unleash its team of championship contenders for 2022. The star-studded line-up consists of Brett Swanepoel, Heinrich Aust, Davin Cocker, David Goosen and Neil van der Vyver. Five athletes bristling with all the talent needed to bring home five championships this season.
Swanepoel will be spearheading the hunt for glory in the National Enduro, National Extreme Enduro and National Cross Country Championship respectively. The team has revealed an exciting change for the new season as the rider returns to his trusty Husqvarna FX 350 in the Cross Country OR2 Championship. He explained: “The FX 350 is just the best all-rounder bike that I’ve experienced and the one that really stands out when I look at my racing career so far. It’s so versatile and its top end speed is incredible – I get so excited at the thought of racing it!”
As a multi-disciplined star, Swanepoel has also set his sights on winning both the National Enduro and National Extreme Enduro Championship on his Husqvarna TE 300i. Here he will be taking on a highly competitive field of riders in the E2 Class.
The Husqvarna Racing team has also revealed some exciting decisions about young gun Heinrich Aust. Having come painstakingly close to winning the National E1 Enduro Championship last year, the rider will be relentless in his pursuit of the title this season. To best equip him for both the championship fight and faster flowing nature of Enduro, the team has decided to put Aust on a four-stroke Husqvarna FE 250.
In the National Extreme Enduro Championship, the team has moved Aust to a Husqvarna TE 250i as he steps up to the E2 Class. With a strong belief in his immense talent, the team believes that the motorcycle will condition him to become a far better all-round enduro rider.
“I feel like I’m throwing myself in the deep end this season, but it’s the only way I’m going to get better. I know that racing against the kind of talent you find in these classes will set me up for great success,” said Aust.
Cross Country star Davin Cocker will remain in the OR3 Class as he attempts to defend his hard-fought 2021 championship title. The team has revealed that the young talent will also compete in National Motocross Championship this season in the highly competitive MX2 Class.
“I raced motocross for most my life until I decided to give Cross Country a go in 2018. I missed motocross, so I jumped at the opportunity the team offered me to get back into it. I’m so looking forward to hitting some jumps again! I know that motocross will ultimately help me with my pace and consistency in Cross Country too,” said Cocker.
The rider will enter the season with the Husqvarna FC 250 as his weapon of choice, a motorcycle he describes as a “nimble machine that packs the power to keep some of the bigger bikes at bay.”
Leading the charge for motocross titles is David Goosen. It was an unforgettable debut season for Goosen who was recruited by the Husqvarna Racing team at the start of last season. As a top contender for both the MX1 and MX2 Championship, the rider had a consistent season as he settled into racing on his new Husqvarna machines.
Having spent a large portion of 2021 finding the setup that suits his style of racing, Goosen will return more confident than ever on his Husqvarna FC 450 and FC 250. He commented, “It was an amazing year joining the team – we learnt a lot and are still busy learning. I’m excited to line up again this year because I know I have the potential to iron out some of my weaknesses and continue to enjoy the sport and the challenges that come with it.”
Rounding out the an all-star team line-up is Neil van der Vyver. The rider lines up as favourite for the Pro Mini title after a nail-biting three-way battle last season that came right down to the wire, proving that he has plenty of grit to go with his raw talent.
On his trusty Husqvarna TC 85, the rising star will be expecting nothing less than to add the Pro Mini title to his already long-list of accolades.
“The off season has been one of detailed planning for the Husqvarna Racing Team for 2022. As is clear in our heading, we have a small team but one that is stacked with a combination of talent and experience. It’s the first year that we have no change in personnel and that on its own is exciting.
Our Motocross team with David and Neil gets bolstered with Davin in the MX2 Class, and we look forward to seeing Davin develop in this highly competitive class. It’s incredible to think that our multiple South African Champion, Neil, who recently turned 14 is going into his sixth year with us! As for our top man, David, it did take us all some time to get back on track last year but we are all ready for him to show the pace he has this year.
On the Cross Country side, we once again run with Brett and Davin and both will certainly be the guys to beat in their respective classes. Brett has moved to his favourite machine after scrumming with the 450 last year and we know his pace on the FX 350 is amazing. Davin is also very much the rider with a target on his back but has matured so much that he’s going to be difficult to catch. With Kyle at his side at all times, his support structure will mean he can be fully focused.
On the Extreme Enduro and Enduro front, both Brett and Heinrich showed last year that they are capable of taking top honours in both categories. The move here has been to put Heinrich on a four stroke in Enduro and a two stroke in Extreme – this will build this young gun into an all-round Enduro specialist as he has already shown his pace throughout 2021.
For our top man, Brett, last year was just a nightmare – a combination of food poisoning on a national race day and small navigation and technical issues meant he was constantly on the back foot. What was impressive was the fight back from Brett and we intend to ensure the mistakes are non-existent this year!
Team personnel has also been given a shot in the arm with Grant Frerichs and Junior Ngwenya ensuring that all is 100% with race bikes and pit support. I always insist that success is in the detail!” said Husqvarna South Africa’s Brand Manage Fred Fensham.
Published by: Grant Frerichs
Photography by: Sage Lee Voges