HQVA press release:
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders has taken the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) by storm, as the 2018 season commenced at Gympie, Queensland, with two Sprint rounds. The podium delight didn’t stop there, with teammates Lachlan Stanford and Fraser Higlett also achieving podium results.
On return from Europe following a full season in the world championship, 2016 champion Sanders proved he will be in contention all year long aboard the Husqvarna FE 450 by taking the outright honours down to the wire on Saturday, resulting in a comfortable Enduro2 (E2) class victory and second overall, marginally behind current national champion Daniel Milner.
Returning team member Stanford initially scored runner-up in Enduro3 (E3) riding the Husqvarna FE 501, however, a five-minute penalty for an unintentional off-track excursion dropped him down the order to eighth in class. Enduro1 (E1) rookie Higlett was also penalised for that same reason, claiming third in class prior to the penalties, but credited ninth on his Husqvarna FE 250.
Sunday was a day to remember for Husqvarna Endure Racing Team, with Sanders starring on his way to a breakout outright victory in addition to another win in E2. Highly-confident in his set-up including the newly-introduced WP Suspension 48mm Cone Valve fork, the Victorian edged Milner on combined times and leads his class championship following the opening two rounds.
Stanford bounced back for second in the E3 ranks this time around, elevating him up the championship standings to fifth, now just three points outside of second. Higlett charged to third in E1 following the disappointment of Saturday, displaying front-running speed and now sitting fifth in the points after clawing back vital markers. He’s just a single point outside of the top three.
Next up for the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team trio will be the Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) at Cessnock in New South Wales on 3-7 April, with the AORC series scheduled to be resuming at Hedley, Victoria, on 5-6 May.
Glenn Kearney – Motorsport Manager, Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia: “Team Manager Christian Horwood and Mechanic Lewie Landrigan have done a great job preparing with the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team for the 2018 season. The three team riders – Daniel Sanders, Lachlan Stanford and Fraser Higlett – have done an exceptional job this weekend and it was really special for them to not only get the outright with Daniel today, but to also have bikes on the podium in all three of their respective divisions.”
Christian Horwood – Team Manager, Husqvarna Endure Racing Team: “Words can’t describe the feeling for ‘Chucky’ Sanders to get the outright in round two, which is our first for the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team in a national round. We’re really proud of the fact that he was so fast all weekend, despite making some minor mistakes, but it was just a great weekend and a historic one for us as team. To have all three riders competitive in each class is extremely satisfying after all the hard work in the off-season, so we’re really, really happy. Both Lachy and Fraser were excellent as well, we know where we’re at and will work on the little things to move forward from here. All three are super-happy with their bikes and the results certainly show that to get the season underway.”
Lachlan Stanford – Husqvarna FE 501: “It was good to get a class podium with second today, giving us something to build upon in the coming rounds. I felt as though I was riding really good on the Saturday and my pace showed that – unfortunately had that penalty that bumped us back – but we were able to move forward from that and round two was a really positive one for me. The tighter and more technical track was a little bit more difficult on the bigger-capacity bike, but I am happy with how things are going, couldn’t ask for more from the Husqvarna FE 501 and can’t wait to get to the four- day now.”
Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna FE 450: “It was good to see where we were at in the first round and we managed to top the first test of the year on Saturday morning. The thing is, I’ve got a really good feeling with the Husqvarna FE 450 already and the best thing was that I was able to ride the way I know how to, getting in that rhythm and having my flow back. I got the nerves out of the system early, made a few mistakes that cost me the outright on Saturday, but today I tried to be more consistent and that worked for me. I was able to get through the day cleanly and I think everybody liked the excitement of the racing, so it was fortunate for me that I got the overall on Sunday. I’m just pumped for the Husqvarna Endure Racing Team to go 1-1- in class and 2-1 outright, because they’ve been working so hard and have wanted this for a lot of years now, so it’s good to get that and we can now carry this form into the A4DE.”
Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna FE 250: “I’m pretty happy to have these first two rounds completed and I’m really happy with how I went, first time out with Husqvarna Endure Racing Team on the Husqvarna FE 250. It’s a shame about Saturday, but we live and we learn from those experiences, and then today was a really satisfying one for me to be on the class podium. We just need to keep this up for the rest of the season and hopefully I can continue to work my way forward as I gain more experience. I had no idea where I was going to stand coming into this weekend, so it gives me some peace of mind knowing that I’ve got the speed to be competitive and now I can’t wait to go racing again.”