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23 February 2017
by Husqvarna South Africa.
Published with Permission.

2017 MX season opener in PE was a humdinger with the sand track at Rover perfectly prepped for 177 Championship hopefuls!

Newly launched lean and mean team for HUSQVARNA RACING looked outstanding in the new Portable Shade pit - what was also evident was an air of readiness and confidence!

Richard van der Westhuizen (# 717) © Eric Palmer / Afreakin Photography

First on the gate for us was MX1 and a revived and fit Richie V/D Westhuizen (717) got off to a slightly delayed start coming of the first turn 6th - he however fought bravely and finished in a very competitive 3rd - second MX1 moto saw a similar start but a different 717 - storming through the field Richie hit the front and ran away - 2nd overall for the day for 717 and a dream start to the season!

Matthew ‘Maddy’ Malan (# 57) © Eric Palmer / Afreakin Photography

MX2 was a tense affair with the talk no doubt about the return and signing by HUSQVARNA of Maddy Malan (57) - well you could not script a return better - first moto saw the 57 3rd of the first turn but within a lap Maddy hit the front and opened a gap of 6 seconds that no one could close - second moto saw the 57 pull off a bike and half lead holeshot into the first turn and from there it was the Maddy Malan show - a 1/1 and red plate for the 57 on his FC 250 debut!

Slade Smith (# 737) © Eric Palmer / Afreakin Photography

Rounding off the heats were the flying 125's with a fit and ready Slade Smith on the 737 TC 125 - great start and class riding saw the 737 hit the front and show the field real speed - unfortunately a jetting niggle saw Slade battle bravely to come home 4th - awesome teamwork and knowledge saw Slade back on the gate for moto 2 more determined than ever - second into the first turn it took the 737 a lap to hit the front and disappear into the distance - 2nd overall for the day for the talented Smith!

2nd overall in MX1, 1st overall in MX2 and 2nd overall in 125 was a dream start - but it got better with the HUSQVARNA RACING outfit getting the Manufacturers Award and the Environmental Award on the day - to our awesome sponsors PIRELLI, FOX, PORTABLE SHADE, BEL-RAY, FMF and 32Gi we say thank you for the invaluable support - not only this year but the last three years - thank you!

Next round of the SA MX Nationals we head down to Zone 7 in the Cape on the 8th April - see you there !

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