In the USA, Husqvarna has continued to expand its professional race teams to compete in AMA Enduro, Grand National Cross Country, Endurocross, National Hare & Hound, the AMA Hare Scrambles Series and World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) competitions.
The most recent success came in the WORCS competition in California, where Team Husqvarna rider Cory Graffunder took a win in the Pro2 class at Anza, his first for the Zip-Ty Racing team on his TXC449. While further east in Tennessee, multi-time Enduro champion and Six Day medalist Mandi Mastin won the Women’s Class on her Hall’s Cycles TXC250 at the AMA National Enduro in West Point.
Consistency has kept the Canadian native Graffunder from British Columbia in contention for the WORCS Pro2 title so far this season, but every race has been a battle with his archrival Justin Seeds. This one was the closest yet as less than two seconds separated both riders after nearly an hour-and-a-half of racing.
Despite smashing his foot on the first lap, Cory set a torrid pace: “I had a good start and was second right away, so I was annoyed to bang that rock on the first lap!” In fact, Graffunder and Seeds’ battle took them past many of the Pro Class competitors as they finished just behind crowd favorite Ryan Hughes in 13th and 14th overall.
“I was chasing Seeds on the first lap when we hit the Pro rock section and he opted to go around, so I jumped ‘The Gorge’ and passed him,” Graffunder explained. “I hit it so hard my hands flew off the bars, but somehow I did not crash! That rocky jump was kind of deceiving, it was a downhill run-up and you had to be careful, but that is how I was able to keep Seeds in check.”
“On my last pass through the pits I read that I had a 13-second lead on the pit-board, but by the time we neared the MX track, I looked back and Seeds was charging. For the last few minutes we both went hammer-down, bar-to-bar all the way to the finish line. I could hear him coming up beside me in every turn.”
This win puts Graffunder just six points behind leader Seeds in the WORCS Pro2 class after four rounds.
Meanwhile over in Tennessee, women’s champ Mandi Mastin continued to enjoy her Hall’s Husqvarna TXC250, winning the AMA National Enduro/International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) Qualifier combo: “The weather was great for the day of the race, but for the two days leading up to it, things weren’t so pretty! The area experienced three inches of rain on the Friday night alone, so there were a couple of mudholes here and there, and the terrain was slippery,” explained the multi-time women’s Enduro champion.
“I rode conservatively since it was slippery early on, but throughout the day the trails seemed to dry up.” Taking advantage of the traction, Mandi managed to make it look easy. “I hold the lead in the series with a perfect 4 from 4 so far. Also, I have qualified to go to the ISDE again this year in Finland. This will be the 10th time that I have raced at the ISDE and I have to say that I’m pretty excited for August to get here!”
The US Team Husqvarna Motorcycles has set up a page on Facebook if you would like to keep up on their races.