News 23 Aug 2017

Success both sides of the border for Husqvarna men

HQVA press release:

Husqvarna off road racers on both sides of the Queensland/NSW border found success last weekend with the continuation of the NSW Off-Road Championship, and the culmination of the Husqvarna Qld Sprint Series.

At Portland, NSW, Husqvarna Off-Road Team rider Broc Grabham faced the starter for the first time since he was injured in the penultimate round of the AORC at Kyogle, and proved he definitely hasn’t forgotten how to steer.

The occasion was round 9/10 of the NSW Off-Road Championships, and Grabham used it to defeat the field – including his senior team mate Lachy Stanford – on both days, and in demonstrative style.

Riding his Husqvarna FE 450, Grabham lead home Stanford and Nic Tomlinson on the Saturday, then did the same on Sunday, winning 22 of the 25 special tests.

Husqvarna FE 501-mounted Stanford’s two runner-up finishes have left him in the box seat in terms of NSW championship standings, and he’ll take a 32-point lead into next weekend’s final round at Maitland, while Grabham will attempt to maintain the current Husqvarna 1-2.

Across the border at Roma, in south-west Queensland, seventeen-year-old Brisbane schoolboy Fraser Higlett wrapped up the Husqvarna Sprint Series by showing the field a clean pair of heels in both rounds.

Riding his Husqvarna TE 250, Higlett roosted to a Saturday victory of almost three minutes over Matt Murry, with Peter-Daniel Allan third, while on Sunday, he was again over two minutes clear of his nearest rival Hayden Conroy, with Lachlan Allan third.

After finishing third behind Husqvarna Off-Road Team rider Lachy Stanford at the series opener at Aratula in June, the weekend’s victories gave Higlett a comfortable win in the championship.

Higlett’s reputation as one of Husqvarna’s – and Australian off-road racing’s – brightest prospects has grown sharply this year, since mating his aggressive riding style with the two-stroke Husqvarna TE 250.

The state series win is further confirmation of Higlett’s new place among the upper echelon of the sport, this year winning five AORC U19 rounds, and cracking the outright top ten in seven of his last eight appearances.

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Broc Grabham (FE450): “I had an awesome weekend! We were doing rally sprints, which is basically an enduro without time cards and I started perfectly. I caught Lachy in the first test and made up ten seconds there, so that helped a lot with confidence all weekend. I won nearly every test both days, and the first day I won by 40 seconds and on the second by 58, so everything finally clicked for me. I’ve had a bit of help with setting the bike up lately, and it’s all worked out good. It was definitely good to have Lachy there to battle with, and I was cheerin’ to finally have a win in my first race back after doing my shoulder at Kyogle, and I’ve only been back on the back three weeks.”

Lachy Stanford (FE501): “I was leading both the NSW off-road and the Qld Husky sprint series, but with the date clash I had to choose one. I haven’t won a NSW championship and I’d already won the Queensland 2-Day Enduro Championship, so I thought I’d try to win state titles in two different states. It was crazy cold. Snow was pouring down on Friday so we didn’t get to walk the tracks, which made it a bit harder on me, but Broc was riding good. I had some close tests with him, but he’s always strong at state rounds so I was expecting him to go fast there, and he’s sort of a local there because it’s only 20 minutes from his house. The final is next weekend, and with the lead I’ve got I’ve pretty much just got to finish to wrap it up.”

Fraser Higlett (TE250): “It’s great to win the Husqvarna Sprint Series Championship. Lachy and Scotty Keegan both beat me at the first one, but I got it done here. There were a fair few fast people out here and I couldn’t drop off too much. It was pretty flat and super dusty, but the tracks were border-lining extreme enduro where we went through the creeks. There were real long creek sections that were just full-on rocks – it was pretty good. It was good training for Yeppoon and Wildwood and something different. I rode the TE 250 because I thought the two-stroke would be better in the extreme stuff, and I’d heard that Roma is always pretty full-on.