Husqvarna Racing is set to release the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons this weekend when they field new signing Michael Docherty at the Cross Country National. National Championship heads off to the semi-desert region of North West for a battle in the sand. The small town of Vryburg sometimes referred to as the Texas of South Africa due to the numerous cattle farms in the area will undoubtedly have all eyes on the Husqvarna bikes given their spate of spectacular results of late.

Brett Swanepoel, the current overall and championship class leader has never raced in Vryburg before is quietly confident and looking forward to what the weekend holds. “Growing up at the coast I have always ridden in the sand and I’ve had some good results at the Desert Race in Botswana before” he added. “From what I’ve seen the course does not seem to be as fast as one would expect so it suits me coming from KZN. I think it is going to be some tight and tough racing and I’m really excited to race here” he said. He also added that he could see the organisation is putting in a lot of effort and it is starting to reflect in the participation numbers.

The buzz in the Cross Country fraternity at the moment is the news that new MX signing Michael Docherty will be on the start line in Vryburg following the news Davin Cocker’s season-ending injury at the last round. Docherty of course is no stranger to sand having spent a lot of time in Dubai and his Rally racing pedigree will most certainly serve him and the team well.

“This will be my first ever cross country race on South African soil, but it makes a lot of sense for my 2023 Dakar Rally preparations” Docherty commented. “I need as much offroad time in the saddle as I can get and I am really looking forward to the challenge of high-intensity cross country racing,” he said. “I’m used to navigating with a roadbook so switching to stickers might present a challenge and I’m confident I’ll get used to it quickly in Friday’s Time Trial event” he noted.

Team principle Fred Fensham enthused “With the injury and long-term rehab to our young star Davin, the inclusion of Michael is really exciting for the team and Cross Country racing – as Michael has said, it’s his first Cross Country race on SA soil so much to learn and come to grips with but still an exciting prospect. It also allows him to train as he starts to build up towards the rally season. This takes nothing away from the inform man Brett Swanepoel – Brett has really been a star this year and enjoying his FX 350 to the full – Its without a doubt going to be an exciting and interesting weekend in Vryburg.”

Published by: Grant Frerichs

Photography by: ZCMC-Media

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