In an unforgettable season finale, the National Motocross Championship drew to a close at Dirt Bronco this weekend.
For the first time in Husqvarna South Africa’s history, a motocross rider managed to bring home both the MX1 and MX2 Championship title.
It’s been a glorious season for 24-year old Caleb Tennant, who was actually recruited by Husqvarna in 2017 to replace an injured Maddy Malan – the teammate he now calls both arch rival and friend.
Grabbing the opportunity to fully pursue his motocross dreams, Tennant has brought home victory after victory this season with a firm hold on two red plates.
He took his place at the MX2 start line on Saturday with an impressive 34-point lead, and only had to finish seventh in the first moto to secure the championship. With a third place finish, however, Tennant achieved more than what he had set out to do and withdrew from the second moto to focus on the next job at hand.
“Things were slightly tighter in MX1 with my 16-point lead. I managed to finish third in the first moto, and just kept my composure to bring home a fourth in the second moto – and that was that! I can’t even describe the amount of pressure I’ve been under racing to secure not just one, but two championship titles!” explained a relieved Tennant.
Overwhelmed by the milestone achievement, he added, “The season has finally come to an end! I was up against a talented group of riders this year, and each race felt like a long, hard-fought battle. To come away with both championships has been huge for me.”
Teammate Malan had also been eyeing the MX2 Championship.
While some unfortunate mishaps left Malan out of contention for the title, he was determined to end the season on the best note that he could – which was right behind Tennant.
He was off to a tough start when he crashed in the first moto, but with a true ‘never say die’ attitude fought back into fourth.
With competitors like Tristan Purdon also looking to finish the season off strong, Malan explained:
“Tristan won the first moto, and that meant that unless I did the same in the second moto he would finish ahead of me this season. My options going into the next heat were win, or nothing.”
Fans breathed a heavy sigh of relief as Malan blazed his way to victory in the second moto, finishing the season second overall.
Satisfied to have the Husqvarna squad dominate the MX2 podium, Malan commented, “If there was going to be anyone that was going to beat me this season, I’m glad it was my teammate. It’s game-on in 2019 though!”
Another promising rider on the motocross radar is the rising Neil van der Vyver.
Having only made his 65cc debut this year, the youngster snatched up yet another podium spot this season with a third place for the day.
Van Der Vyver has proven to have more than enough speed to keep up with the top riders in his class, and will certainly enter the 2019 season swinging as he attempts to win another championship title in his still very young career.
Husqvarna South Africa has come painfully close to winning National titles this season, but has finished in second place four times in other disciplines.
Brand Manager Fred Fensham finally got to put the number one plates on his bikes that he had been waiting for, and with great pride and a lot of emotion gave a parting shot:
“This is an incredible moment for us – I am so proud of the riders, teams and sponsors that made this double victory happen.”