The factory Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team will feature three top-level riders for the 2018 season, as Daniel Sanders and Fraser Higlett have been signed to join team mainstay Lachlan Stanford in an expanded line-up.
Stanford fell just short of the Enduro3 (E3) championship last year and will remain aboard the Husqvarna FE 501 for the new year, determined to capture the elusive crown that he has finished runner-up in during his past two attempts. The Byron Bay-based talent was also third in the outright standings last season.
For Sanders, the 23-year-old returns to the Australian Off- Road Championship (AORC) following a season in Europe that saw him claim eighth in the Enduro2 World Championship. He was crowned AORC champion in 2016 and will be aiming to regain the number one plate riding a Husqvarna FE 450 in the Enduro2 (E2) ranks. The Victorian also finished runner-up in a one-off appearance at home last year at the prestigious Hattah Desert Race.
Last season was a strong one for Higlett, finishing second in the Enduro Junior (EJ) category of the AORC with a string of victories to his credit and also claiming second in the Under 19s division at the Hattah Desert Race aboard a privateer Husqvarna. His promotion to the factory team will see him ride a Husqvarna FE 250 in Enduro1 (E1), holding high hopes of advancing his career within the official operation.
The 2018 AORC series will commence at Gympie, Queensland, on 10-11 March, marking the opening double- header weekend of the 11-round series. Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team will also contest the Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) in Cessnock, New South Wales, on 3-7 April, the Hattah Desert Race in Victoria between 7-8 July, plus an assortment of additional high-profile events on the calendar.
Glenn Kearney – Motorsports Manager, Husqvarna Motorcycles Australia: “We’re not far away from the first national and everybody in the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team is excited, but also a bit nervous to see where they stand entering the season. We know from our side that we’re very well-prepared and that Christian has done a great job organising the team. To be covering each class with the brand is great – Lachy in E3, Daniel in E2 and Fraser in E1. It’s a really competitive team and we can’t wait to see them out there this season.”
Christian Horwood – Team Manager, Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team: “We’re very excited to enter the 2018 season, expanding to a three-rider team for this year. We have Fraser Higlett, who has been a Husqvarna-supported rider for four years now and he had some outstanding results last year, so has been rewarded with a factory ride in E1 on-board a Husqvarna FE 250. We have also signed Daniel Sanders, who is fresh from a year in EnduroGP, is the 2016 AORC outright champion and it’s fantastic to have a rider of his calibre on the Husqvarna FE 450 in the E2 class. In E3 we will again have Lachlan Stanford riding the Husqvarna FE 501 in his fifth year with the team, which we are also really happy about. Together, we’ve got a great group of people, a good mixture of experience across the board and we cover all three classes with an exceptional group of talent.”
Lachlan Stanford – Husqvarna FE 501: “I’m really looking forward to this year, which is my fifth with the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team. I have a couple of new teammates for 2018, with Fraser Higlett and Daniel Sanders, so I’m excited to be riding with them and I think they will be great additions. As far as my preparation goes, I’m really happy with how it is all going at the moment. We came close to winning the E3 championship last year, finishing second in the standings and tying on points, so we will aim to go one better this season aboard the Husqvarna FE 501.”
Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna FE 450: “This is a big year for me and I have some motivation to get back to the front of the field after last year. It was a difficult one in Europe, but I am working hard to come back from that and I just can’t wait to get to round one, see where I’m at up against the other guys. The first goal is to ride to my full capabilities on the Husqvarna FE 450, that’s what I am focused on, and we will go from there. I want to get through the first round, get some good points, and then aim to move forward from there. I will be on the four-stroke this year, which is a big change for me, but I’m looking forward to that challenge and hopefully I can put it on the top step of the podium to contend for the title.”
Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna FE 250: “It’s a big step for me in my career since last year, so I’m taking it a lot more seriously as part of the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team and putting in as much effort as I can. It should be good for me and hopefully I can win the E1 championship – that’s the main priority. Everything is coming together as part of the factory team environment, I feel at home on the Husqvarna FE 250 and am confident that we will be ready to go come round one. I really appreciate the opportunity and want to make the most of it this season.”