Friday, June 17, 2011

MPS Racing Husqvarna ? Supporting the youth of today

The introduction of the Under 19 class into the ?11 Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship has proved to be a hugely successful addition to the increasingly popular series, with both the U19 and U23 classes playing an important role in the development of British youngsters competing in enduro sport. With close and exciting racing at each of the eight championship rounds held so far this season the emergence of new talent, added to the fact that UK-based riders have what it takes to mix it with Europe?s best, shows that Britain?s enduro future has never looked brighter.

jack.rowland BSEC 11 Rnds 56 105x70 MPS Racing Husqvarna   Supporting the youth of today jordan.rose BSEC 11 Rnds 56 105x70 MPS Racing Husqvarna   Supporting the youth of today rob.johnson BSEC 11 Rnds 34 105x70 MPS Racing Husqvarna   Supporting the youth of today

Supporting the BSEC series with a five-rider strong line-up is the MPS Racing Husqvarna team, who believe that supporting young and up-and-coming British talent is of paramount importance. GMC Events caught up with team owner Mick Seward recently to find out more about MPS Racing Husqvarna and how Europe?s first sprint enduro series is helping their riders.

2011 sees MPS Racing line up with a new squad of riders. Who?s riding in your team this year?

MPS Racing: ?For ?11 we?ve had a fresh overhaul of riders into the team. Riding in the Elite class is Jordan Rose on the TE449 Husqvarna. Jack Rowland is a new rider to enduro having previously competed in motocross. He’s competing in the Under 19 class on the TE250 and is really enjoying the change of scene to enduro. Although a Husqvarna supported rider last year, Joe Deakin joins the team also competing on the TE250. This year we are also supporting lady rider Katy Bullock. A top trials rider, Katy will ride the WR125 in the BSEC and selected BEC events. Staying with the team is 16-year old Rob Johnson, who continues to improve with every race. Both Jack and Joe are currently top two in the British Expert E1 4T class while Rob leads the overall Clubman championship.?

Jordan is a top-flight motocross rider. How is he adapting to enduros?

MPS Racing: ?Jordan came to us shortly before the fifth round of the BSEC without a ride and we decided to give him a try. We managed to get a basic set up for him before that event and without any proper training he finished fourth along with posting the second fastest time on four of the tests. He enjoyed the experience so we brought him along to the first round of the European championship in Poland the following weekend. There he put in two brilliant results to finish third and second. Unfortunately during the British Enduro Championship at Harwood he hit a tree stump and crashed heavily resulting in a compound fracture of his toe and thumb. This stopped him from competing at the BSEC in Adstone but he decided to ride the European championship in Romania. Again luck wasn’t on his side there either as he hit a deer at hi-speed during one of the special tests! However, after we rebuilt his bike he dug deep to score a tenth place finish. This was a remarkably result as we later found out he had broken two ribs in the crash.?

Husqvarna has stepped up their support of MPS Racing, what is your relationship with the brand?

MPS Racing: ?Husqvarna are fully supporting us in our racing and we are now the official Husqvarna race team in the UK. With the recent restructure within Husqvarna we are now able to have a direct relationship with the factory for bikes and parts, while HVUK Ltd, Husqvarna?s official marketing representative in the UK, help us with the racing side of things to promote the brand. Overall we have got a much improved support package this year, which is great.?

Who else supports the MPS Racing Husqvarna team effort?

MPS Racing: ?We are fully supported by Husqvarna motorcycles and use Castrol Oils. Our team partners include Renthal, SPS, EK Chains, Reiger Suspension and Super B Batteries for which we are also distributors. Our riders wear Sidi boots, Shoei helmets and Pro Grip provide us with clothing and goggles.?

MPS Racing has always been focused on supporting young junior riders, why is that?

MPS Racing: ?When I began riding enduros a few years back I could see that there was little or no support for young riders entering the sport. I set up the team to try and give them support to allow them to make a name for themselves. Previously the only way to gain sponsorship as a rider was to fund things yourself until you eventually made a name for yourself. Often those with talent became disillusioned and left the sport altogether. We hope to promote the youth of our sport, give them the package they need to compete in high profile events and help them develop into world class riders.?

Having heavily supported the Enduro World championship you have decided to take a step back from it for ?11. Why is that?

MPS Racing: ?Ultimately we would love to continue to compete in the EWC but the current calendar sees many races in far away places including Turkey and Greece. It would prove too difficult to fully commit to supporting and promoting the Husqvarna brand on the domestic scene while also travelling to such far-flung places. Husqvarna need us to represent the brand to our full potential in the UK and that is what we?re doing in ?11. We haven?t completely stepped away from international competition as we?re competing in the European Enduro Championship.?

How have you found the European Championship?

MPS Racing: ?So far we are really enjoying the events and the change of scene they’re bringing. To date we’ve been up the sharp end of the results and fighting for wins. Although they are of a smaller scale than the EWC it is allowing our riders to compete in high profile European events. With the final round in France in September we’re hoping for these good results to continue.?

What are your thoughts on enduro since you?ve become involved with the sport?

MPS Racing: ?When I first arrived on the scene it was still very amateur in comparison to motocross and road racing ? there was very little sponsor and spectator interest. The sport seemed hidden away from the public eye. Since we began running a team it has begun to grow in terms of professionalism. More teams have come into the sport and manufactures are now better represented. Events on the whole are more professional and there?s better movement of information through the media. Hopefully the BSEC will help enduro sport grow further.?

How do you find the BSEC, have you warmed to the new format of enduro racing?

MPS Racing: ?The BSEC has been superb and has brought fresh thinking and ideas to the sport. I think the organisers have got the format right. As well as great racing we can invite our sponsors to the events and spend time with them. Since everything happens around a central point they can watch the racing out on the track then return to the team truck for lunch and meet with riders. The format is very sponsor friendly and the organisers have worked hard to maintain a professional looking championship. I think the latest round at Adstone, Northants was the best venue so far. It was perfect for both riders and spectators. The course had a little bit of everything in it and with up to eight tests completed per day it was tough but enjoyable for riders while giving spectators plenty of action to watch.?

Has the BSEC been of benefit for your riders when competing abroad?

MPS Racing: ?Yes, without doubt it has really helped and I think that is showing in their results, as well as the results of other British riders competing in the BSEC and in the EEC. The Extreme Test in Romania was almost a carbon copy of the extreme section used in Adstone. That unexpected practice almost certainly helped Jack to finish second fastest on both runs and for a rider with no prior trials riding experience they are excellent results.?

Rounds 9 & 10 of the 2011 Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship take place on July 2/3 at Berwyn Leisure Park, Clwyd, LL20 7LH

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