Husqvarna Supercross 2015
Husqvarna motorcycles have a long history of success in off-road competition, going back to the founding in 1903. Rolf Tibblin won the Swedish brand its first motocross world championship in the 250cc class in 1959, followed quickly by Husqvarna’s first World Championship in the 500cc class by Bill Nilsson in 1960.
In the sixties and seventies, it was one of the dominant forces in international motocross competition with Torsten Hallman and Heikki Mikkola hauling off a raft of world championships in the 250 and 500cc classes. In Bruce Brown’s original motion picture “On any Sunday,” the incredible Malcolm Smith is shown walking away from the competition on his Husky in off-road racing and even riding it in hill-climb competition—and making it look easy.
Husqvarna has continued its winning ways in motocross competition, and in its return to AMA Supercross this season has served notice that all that motocross racing success has currency in SX. Now, the Husky brand – owned by Pierer Industrie AG, whose owner, Stefan Pierer, owns 51 percent of KTM – is set to shakeup 2015 Supercross.
This was proven this past weekend, at the 2015 Supercross opener at Anaheim, Calif., when Rock Star Energy Husqvarna team rider Jason Anderson rode to a podium finish. Anderson finished second in the 450 final behind RCH Racing Suzuki rider Ken Roczen and ahead of Team Honda’s Trey Canard.
“The race was good,“ said Anderson. “I got a good start, held the pace and ended up with a podium so I’m stoked! I expected to have a good race, but what I accomplished was pretty crazy. You talk about finishing good, but actually doing it is pretty surreal.“
In the 250 final, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne achieved a second place finish after making it to the final via the last chance qualifier. KTM mounted Jessy Nelson won the final, with Tyler Bowers finishing third on a Kawasaki. Meanwhile, Osborne’s teammate, Zach Bell put on a good showing finishing 11th overall on his Husqvarna in the field of 22.
After rebounding from a crash in his heat and winning the 250 Last Chance Qualifier, Osborne pulled a top three start in the 250 main and stayed consistent the rest of the race. His persistence paid off as he finished second.
“I had really good speed in the heat race but unfortunately ended up breaking my thumb,“ said Osborne. “I won the LCQ and almost got the holeshot in the main and then rode to second. My bike was really good on the starts today and I think that’s the key.“
The weekend’s results leave Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders Anderson and Osborne in second place in the points in both the 250 and 450 SX classes.
For 2015, Husqvarna has expanded its professional race team to compete in AMA Supercross, AMA Pro Motocross, AMA National Enduro, GNCC, AMA EnduroCross, OMA Nationals, AMA West Hare Scrambles Series and AMA National Hare & Hound championships. Husqvarna team riders are competing aboard 2014 and 2015 Husqvarna FC 450, FC 350, FC 250, FE 350, TC 250 and TE 300 models.
Photo by Don Williams