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HUSQVARNA’S MIKE BROWN TAKES ON CAREER-FIRST NATIONAL ENDURO
Mike Brown makes his way through the tresst at Rad Dad – Phote by Shan Mooored
NATIONAL CHAMPION TALKS ABOUT BEING A PART OF THE HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES LEGACY AND RACING THIS WEEKEND’S BIG BUCK GNCC.
His bid for the 2014 AMA EnduroCross Championship hasn’t even started yet, but Factory Husqvarna’s Mike Brown has already been around the world and back! From Australia for the Enduro-X Nationals and back to the U.S. where he recently raced his first-ever AMA National Enduro, “Brownie” and his new Husky FE 350 are taking the off-road world by storm. His program for the season includes “a little bit of everything,” which is also going to include the Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina this weekend.
Despite his busy schedule that keeps him running between the toughest off-road races he can find, we caught up with Brownie to hear about his first few months with Husqvarna. Mike also talked about his Enduro-X experience in Australia, riding his first National Enduro, and why the new 2014 Husqvarna FE 350 is the perfect all-around bike for the guy who “needs to be racing.”
Tell us about racing your first National Enduro. What did you think? Tight woods! (laughs) I enjoyed it a lot. It’s a fun day. You get to stop and have a 20-minute break and then go again. It was just hard getting through the woods as fast as you can. I want to do another one because it’s good for everything: your speed work, going through the trees. I think it’s good training.
You’re a real bar-to-bar type of racer, but in enduros you’re racing on your own. Was that hard to get used to? Yeah, that’s it. I’m used to racing with somebody. I think if it was more open and if I could race with another fast guy, I could go faster. But for me to go out there on my own and go all out, that’s what got me. You need to get in that groove and ride as fast as you can the whole time. Last weekend I was going fast for half of it and then I’d catch myself trail riding. I need to get used to doing it myself.
Where did you end up finishing? I ended up 15th overall, which is okay. Like I said, I want to do another one at some point. It was a lot of fun and I know I can do better.
You also did some riding and racing in Australia this year. How did that come about? My friend Toby Price has been trying to get me over there to do the Australian Enduro-X Championship. The last time I was in Australia was 1991. It’s been a long time, but I finally made it this year. I went at the end of January and stayed for a month. The whole time I was riding EnduroCross with Toby. It was a good month of training and good racing, really.
You raced two rounds of the Australian Enduro-X Championship; how did those go? I did good in the first one. It started raining right before the finals and I had a few crashes and ended up third. The next round, I ended up winning. It was good practice and it was great to get Husky a win over there.
How stiff was the Enduro-X competition over there? The competition over there is good. Guys have a lot more EnduroCross practice tracks than they do here. When I got there I was expecting the tracks to be easy, the riders not to be so good, but it was a professional turnout for sure. The tracks are awesome and it was a good class of guys. It was, for sure, good practice for me.
The AMA EnduroCross series is coming up very quickly here. What are your expectations for 2014? Yeah, we’re about three weeks right now. I want to try to be consistent. Last year I started out winning the first two. That was great, but the goal this season is to win as many as I can. Being consistent each week and being in the top-three is what it’s going to take to bring home the championship.
What bike have you been riding at all these races? I’ve been riding the FE 350. Last weekend at the National Enduro I was on a 350 and I’m going to ride a 350 this weekend at the Big Buck GNCC, as well. If I do motocross it’ll be on the FC 450.
Why is the FE 350 your bike of choice? The Husky 350 is a great all-around bike. It’s got plenty of power for anything you want to do off-road, and there’s not much difference in weight from the 250, so it’s easier just to move up to a 350. It’s reliable, it works great all around and you don’t have to do a lot of work to it.