Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia press release:
Fully-prepared and with confidence on their side, Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team riders Lachlan Stanford, Daniel Sanders and Fraser Higlett will contest their first national event of 2018 this weekend, competing in the Australian Off-Road Championship’s (AORC) opening rounds.
Rounds one and two will be staged at Gympie in Queensland, as Stanford sets his sights on the Enduro3 (E3) crown, Sanders aims for the Enduro2 (E2) title and Higlett looks to Enduro1 (E1) success over the course of this season.
The trio paired up to take a stellar victory in last weekend’s Transmoto 12-Hour endurance event at Batemans Bay in New South Wales, serving as the ideal final part of preparation prior to the six-event, 11-round AORC series. It’s shaping up to be an incredibly strong year for the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team.
Winner of both Gympie rounds last year in E3, Stanford will be in the frame for victory on his thundering Husqvarna FE 501 yet again. After falling short of the title on count-back in 2017, the Byron Bay-based racer now has a point to prove and has the ideal program in place to start his season in top form.
It’s also a case of seeking redemption for ‘Chucky’ Sanders, the 23-year-old who took the AORC by storm to capture outright and class glory in 2016, now back in the mix following a challenging year in Europe. Newly-signed to Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team and riding the Husqvarna FE 450, he has the makings to stand back atop the podium once again.
Capable young Queenslander, 18 year old Higlett, has landed an official seat on-board the Husqvarna FE 250 in his transition to the E1 ranks. A standout in the Enduro Junior (EJ) division last year by scoring the runner-up result, including winning his home rounds at Gympie, he will be a factor at the front of the field throughout the championship.
The 2018 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) takes off with a pair of Sprint formats at Gympie in Queensland on 10-11 March, with Saturday to play host to round one, followed by Sunday’s second round to get the season underway for the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team.
Christian Horwood – Team Manager, Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team: “The Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team is as prepared as we have ever been entering the new AORC season. This weekend will be a Sprint format on both days, so that will add to the excitement and we will see where everybody stands at this point of the year. All three riders travelled to Queensland earlier in the week following the Transmoto 12-Hour, where we enjoyed a successful and productive day by winning the event as a team, so we are ready to go. We’re just super-excited and can’t wait to get going, confident that we can be competitive across all three classes from the outset and throughout the entire championship.”
Lachlan Stanford – Husqvarna FE 501: “I’m looking forward to the opening rounds at Gympie. The place suits my Husqvarna FE 501 a lot and we had a good weekend there last year, so I’m excited to get out there to go racing. We’re using the WP 48mm Cone Valve fork this year and have been focusing on our set-up with them, so the Transmoto 12-Hour was a good final shakedown and also a kind of bonding session for the team. We came away with the win and everyone was stoked, so that’s given us a good feeling heading into round one. I came close to winning the E3 championship last year and this year we have [Daniel] Milner in the class as well, which is actually a good thing for me and I look forward to that challenge – if you can beat him, then you know you are doing a lot of things right. I have confidence in my bike, in my team and am ready to go.”
Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna FE 450: “We’ve had some really positive results in testing during this past week and last weekend it was good to get a win with the team in the Transmoto 12-Hour event together. I’m excited to go racing in the AORC again, beginning with the opening round this weekend, especially after spending last season in Europe. It’s a familiar championship for me, but there’s also a lot of new things in my program to start 2018. The Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team has been great, so it’s a case of taking it one step at a time and I am confident we will be competitive when it counts. My confidence is there going into Gympie and I’m looking forward to getting out there now to see where we stand.”
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team –Fraser Higlett – Photo: Wilkinson Photography
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team – Photo: Wilkinson Photography
Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna FE 250: “It’s a big step for me, a big change being part of the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team and I’m excited to see how we go in the E1 class. Being teammates with Lachy and Chucky, they are always pushing me, helping to make me a better rider and I’ve been learning a lot being part of the factory team. Last year at Gympie I was able to win both rounds in my class and I also actually got my best outright finish as well, which was good for me at my home round. We’ve put in a lot of effort at this stage and now we get to see where we’re at, so it’s really good to be here in this position and I feel the best that I ever have on the Husqvarna FE 250.”