SOLID FOUR-RIDER SQUAD ALL-SET TO TAKE ON 2017 ENDUROGP SERIES
Husqvarna Motorcycles are pleased to announce Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s rider line-up for the 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship. Featuring a mix of championship winners and highly-promising youngsters the team of Mathias Bellino, Danny McCanney, Pascal Rauchenecker and newcomer Christophe Charlier will be looking for top honours in the upcoming EnduroGP series, which kicks off on March 25/26 in Finland.
Remaining under the guidance of team manager Andreas Hölzl the team will be aiming for victories in both the premier EnduroGP and the revised Enduro 2 categories of the 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship.
Leading the team’s efforts once again is France’s Mathias Bellino who will return to two-stroke machinery, contesting the premier EnduroGP class aboard a Husqvarna TE 300. Working hard to prepare himself for what is expected to be a challenging new season the two-time world champion has his sights set on returning to the top step of the podium during 2017.
Husqvarna Motorcycles’ EnduroGP squad will be completed by Christophe Charlier. Making a switch from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s MXGP team the 26-year-old Frenchman is working hard ahead of his Enduro World Championship debut. Aboard a Husqvarna FE 350 machine Christophe will try to collect the experience needed to build a solid future in enduro racing.
Enjoying a highly-promising end to his 2016 season, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Danny McCanney will be launching an assault for the Enduro 2 World Championship title in 2017. Competing aboard Husqvarna’s TE 250 two-stroke machine, the two-time world champion is among the favourites for top honours in the newly revised class.
Following what’s been an impressive debut season in international enduro competition, Austria’s Pascal Rauchenecker aims high in 2017. Opting to remain aboard his trusted FE 250 machine for the new season, the 23-year-old will complete Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Enduro 2 squad alongside McCanney.
The 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship will get underway on March 25-26, with the season opening GP of Finland set to take place in Paijanne, Helsinki.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 2017 EWC Line-up
Mathias Bellino – Husqvarna TE 300 (EnduroGP)
Christophe Charlier – Husqvarna FE 350 (EnduroGP)
Danny McCanney – Husqvarna TE 250 (Enduro 2)
Pascal Rauchenecker – Husqvarna FE 250 (Enduro 2)
Team Manager – Andreas Hölzl
Mathias Bellino: “This year there’ll be lots of guys fighting for the podium in EnduroGP and we’re looking forward to the challenge. I did my best during the pre-season to improve the weakest points in my riding and get the physical conditioning needed to keep pushing until the end of each race. We will continue working and testing with the team to find the ideal settings for all kinds of conditions. With the opening round set to take place in the snow in Finland, we have to be prepared for everything. We all know it’s going to be a long season, but we’re confident of fighting for the EnduroGP title in 2017.”
Christophe Charlier: “The idea to switch to enduro racing has been in my head for quite some time and I’m excited with this new challenge. It’s going to be my first year in enduro and the goal is to get as much experience as possible. I’ve started training on the FE 350 after the end of last season and I was happy to claim the runner-up spot at the first round of the Italian Enduro Championship. The FE 350 is such a versatile and enjoyable bike to ride. The 2017 series is expected to be longer than in the past, with more events and different racing conditions so the plan is to take things one step at a time. I’ll keep working and training as hard as I can so that I can be among the top guys in EnduroGP.”
Danny McCanney: “Everything is going well and I’m really looking forward to the new season. A big change for me is that I return to two-stroke machinery. I always loved two strokes and the new TE 250 is just an amazing bike. Combining power with easy handling I think my new bike is really competitive in the 250cc Enduro 2 class. We’ll continue working hard to perfect its settings but already I’m really positive coming into the 2017 season. As for me, I’m back to full fitness now following my knee surgery at the beginning of last year. We all know it’s going to be a long and challenging season, but I can’t wait for the championship to begin.”
Pascal Rauchenecker: “I learned a lot during my first year in enduro racing in 2016 and now I’m ready to put my experience to good use. It’s going to be an important season for me but I feel confident I can improve on my results. The main goal is to be able to fight for the Enduro 2 podium every time out. I will continue racing an FE 250 and that gives me extra confidence going into the season. I feel that I know the bike really well now and I feel extremely comfortable on it. With races in countries like Finland, UK and Argentina we expect the 2017 series to be quite challenging in terms of different terrains and race conditions. My goal is to remain consistent and get as many points as possible for a good overall result at the end of the season.”
Andreas Hölzl: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Enduro Team Manager: “Showing what we’re capable of in 2016 I believe we have all we need to battle for the titles in both the EnduroGP and the Enduro 2 classes this year. With Mathias Bellino returning to the TE 300 two-stroke machine, that’s given him extra motivation to work harder than ever. We’re confident he’ll be a top contender in EnduroGP. Despite only just starting to learn the ropes in enduro racing, Christophe Charlier has already impressed us with his speed and willingness to learn. He’ll be a strong asset to our EnduroGP team. For Danny McCanney I think he now has the experience to go in search of his first senior title. Danny will contest the Enduro 2 class alongside Pascal Rauchenecker. Learning so much last year we expect Pascal to be a regular podium contender in 2017.”
Calendar – 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship
Round 1 – 25/26 March: GP of Finland (Helsinki – Paijanne)
Round 2 – 22/23 April: GP of Spain (Puerto Lumbreras)
Round 3 – 27/28 May: GP of Italy (Spoleto)
Round 4 – 24/25 June: GP of Hungary (Paradfurdo)
Round 5 – 1/2 July: GP of Slovakia (Puchov)
Round 6 – 21/23 July: GP of Portugal (Castelo Branco)
Round 7 – 23/24 September: GP of United-Kingdom (Hawkstone Park)
Round 8 – 7/8 October: GP of Argentina (Tucuman)
Round 9 – 21/22 October: GP of Germany (Zschopau)