South Australian Luke Arbon will lead the official SD3 Husqvarna factory team’s MX2 charge into 2017.
Arbon established himself as a genuine championship contender in the early rounds of the 2016 MX Nationals, and was in third place in the championship on the eve of round four at Murray Bridge, when he suffered a season-ending injury.
The talented 24-year-old South Australian returned to the saddle last month, with a view to competing in the premier MX1 class this year aboard a Husqvarna FC 450.
However, on the eve of an exciting new announcement from the SD3 team, Arbon and Team Owner Steve McKinnon have decided that Arbon should instead be the team’s spearhead in the MX2 category.
Arbon is confident that the rate of his recovery will see him in competitive form in time for the start of this year’s MX Nationals championship in Victoria on April 2.
He will be ably supported by the team’s MXD rider Kaleb Barham, who took two overall podiums on his way to fifth place in the Under 19 championship.
The SD3 Husqvarna team will announce just who will fill the seat of its Husqvarna FC 450 in the coming days.
Luke Arbon: “The 450 class would have been a massive step up after a season of pretty much no racing, and even though I was looking forward to that challenge, when Steve (McKinnon) said to me that it would be a help to him and to Husky for me to fly the flag in MX2, I was happy to do that.
I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason, and at the moment I’m training pretty hard and riding a fair bit, and training on the 450 has probably brought me on a fair bit quicker. I’ve got three or four months to go still, and I’m sure that when the time comes I’ll definitely be ready to go. Stepping back into the 250s and trying to get back to where I was is also going to be an exciting challenge, but I will be going back into a class where I have won races and overalls before, so my goal is to be doing that again this year. I have no doubt that as long as I keep putting in the work, that I can be up the front again soon.”
Steve McKinnon – SD3 Team Owner: “The intentions originally were to have Luke ride in MX1, however with the huge announcement that we have coming for the team in the next few days, and upon talking to him and weighing up his situation post-injury, the decision has been made for him to compete in MX2 for 2017.
He’s done what’s best for the team here and for Husqvarna and we thank him for what was an honourable move, however, it’s true that he also has some unfinished business there in MX2, so it will be really great to see him get the opportunity to rectify that, and chase for a title that he really deserved a much better shot at last year.”