In what was truly an unforgettable weekend of racing at the second round of the National Cross Country Championship, Husqvarna Racing stormed to the overall victory and two class wins. Star rider Brett Swanepoel snatched up the overall and OR2 victory, while teammate Davin Cocker took top honours in the OR3 Class respectively.
Having only recently recovered from an illness, Swanepoel admits to feeling apprehensive at first about the weekend of racing ahead. He commented, “I hadn’t felt well leading up to the race and at one stage wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to perform. About a day or two before the race I started feeling really good, and suddenly felt energised and excited to get back out there.”
The time trial was off to a shaky start for Swanepoel when his fuel line unplugged. After taking a moment to figure out what was wrong, the rider managed to fix the problem and do enough damage control to qualify in fifth place. Early into the main event, Swanepoel capitalised on a navigational error made by the riders ahead of him and worked his way up to third place.
It wasn’t long before took the lead overall and fought until the very last moment of the race to keep it. He explained: “I opened up a gap going into the last lap, but I was struggling with my goggles going through some mud and felt the other riders catching up to me. I held onto my lead until I was through the mud and then pushed the pace on the last section of the lap to open that gap up again!”
Teammate Cocker was out for redemption this weekend after a tough start to the Cross Country season. Because of the last round’s results, he started the time trial near the back of the pack in 33rd place. He commented, “I had to shake off last round’s results and focus on making up positions in the time trial. I pushed so hard on that 20km loop to get a solid fourth place start behind Matthew Wilson.”
While Cocker admits to making some costly mistakes in the first lap, he came back swinging to take the lead in the second lap. “Matthew kept me on my toes! I managed to avoid the big mud holes that were getting worse and worse with every lap and had some fun battles out there. I’m looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store for us.”
Cocker will now turn his focus to the second round of the National Motocross Championship which is set to take place at Thunder Valley, KwaZulu-Natal, this weekend.
Published by: Grant Frerichs
Photography by: ZCMC Media