Who wants to race a Husky? I bet the short answer is – everyone.
So the good news is that there will obviously be some sort of factory Husky team for 2014. The bad news; with the demise of Husaberg and dwindling racing budgets in general, we are facing yet another year of shrinking opportunities for professional racers. It seems incredible, but there will be even more deserving riders without rides.
But clearly there will be some resurrection of racing at the new Husqvarna. The consensus seems to say four riders. If that is the case, it will probably mean two in the west and two for the east. Hopefully there will be a wider group of support teams and riders.
Where to Race?
The first question is what race series can we expect the Husky’s to contest? Here are my guesses. Yes: National Enduro, Endurocross. Maybe: GNCC, No: WORCS, Hare & Hound, Baja.
National enduro is the perfect fit for the brand and the bikes will be very competitive in either two stroke or four stoke form. Endurocross is the other arena to expect to be competitive and get maximum exposure. I think GNCC would require too much budget. But on the other hand, Delong and the new FC250 could be a front runner right out of the box for the XC2 class. XC2 might actually be the best chance for Husky to secure a national title for 2014.
Who Will Race?
There are only a couple of bits of hard news for now. Husberg’s Mike Lafferty is back to KTM for 2014, so that takes care of him. MXA magazine is reporting that Mike Brown will move to Husky next year. I think that makes plenty of sense. Brownie and the FE350 will be well suited to Endurocross. He can probably just move most of his current KTM race package right on to the bike. That will leave the KTM Baja team depleted, but I think it is a smart move for Brownie, he can probably extend his career better in EX than anywhere else.
From there we have a list of deserving current Husky and Husaberg riders, some of whom will not get the call. Russell Bobbitt would seem like the front runner, but Andrew Delong and Nick Fahringer might actually be higher on the list. Then there is Cory Graffunder for Endurocross. That is four riders to cover three seats if we have guessed it all correct.
Of course that overlooks the wide group of other talented riders who will be looking for new rides for 2014. Except for a few of the KTM riders, we don’t even really know who is where yet. It is all up in the air. I am sure the phone must be ringing regularly over at Husky with inquiries.
One idea is that Ty Davis will again end up with a team. I don’t know if that will be a support team, or if he will run the race program for the west. His riders Gary Sutherlin and Jamie Lanza are still waiting for a good ride to come along.
If word of a Ty Davis team is correct, then it would seem that there should be a FAR team for the east. Again, whether this will be the factory effort or more of a support team is hard to say. But it would seem to make the most sense that Davis and Andrews would actually run the factory backed efforts.
Regardless of how it all plays out, there is a strong group of riders to choose from. The Husky team should be competitive where ever they choose to race.