Corona, CA – Excitement is building as the days count down to X Games Enduro X! Factory Husqvarna riders Cory Graffunder, Kyle Redmond, Alex Salvini and Andreas Lettenbichler have come together in Southern California to train and prepare for the big event on Sunday, July 1 at the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles, CA.
The riders will compete aboard TXC310 motorcycles, but Salvini has the distinct privilege of riding Husqvarna’s newest racer, the 2013 TXC310R. The re-vamped model, which was only revealed to the public last week in Italy, boasts the powerful new Red Head motor, and Salvini’s No. 9 machine is the first to appear on U.S. soil. Watch for it on ESPN’s live TV coverage!
#7 Kyle Redmond – USA
Husqvarna Motorcycles North America (HMNA) factory EnduroCross racer Kyle Redmond (shown above right) is the only returning rider to the X Games as Salvini, Lettenbichler and Graffunder roll onto the STAPLES Center track for the first time. Redmond benefits from his run during the 2011 X Games. “Last year was really amazing,” Redmond said. “I never thought as an off-road rider that I’d be racing someplace like the STAPLES Center. It was such a fun experience and I’m excited to be back for another year.”
Redmond’s season is already off to a challenging start. After a top-ten finish at the season opener in Las Vegas, the Lake Hughes, California native fractured his lower leg in a practice crash. Redmond was forced to sit out the second round in Sacramento, but is ready to put his best foot forward this weekend for round three of the AMA EnduroCross Series.
#115 Cory Graffunder – Canada
Canadian Cory Graffunder was in attendance at last year’s X Games, but was forced to watch from the stands after breaking his wrist in a practice crash only days before the race. “It was probably the biggest disappointment of my life, getting injured right before X Games,” Graffunder said. “This year I can’t explain how excited I am. I can’t wait. I’ve watched X Games since I was a little kid. Some of my friends have competed in it and I’ve always wanted to be a part of it. EnduroCross is a big deal – the races are great – but X Games Enduro X is just that much bigger.”
Graffunder’s season is steadily improving; a seventh-place finish in Las Vegas followed by a fourth-place finish in Sacramento have him off to a respectable start in the AMA EnduroCross series. The Canadian is coming off a dominant win at last weekend’s WORCS race in Utah, and is hoping to ride his momentum into downtown L.A. on Sunday.
#9 Alex Salvini – Italy
CH Racing Husqvarna’s Alex Salvini is a fresh face in EnduroCross – and in the United States for that matter. But the Italian motocrosser-turned-off-road-racer has experience in racing SuperEnduro (European equivalent of EnduroCross) and the World Enduro Championship. The 26-year-old even spends time in the off-season free-riding with his good friend and X Games gold medalist Taddy Blazusiak.
Salvini spent the week leading to X Games in So Cal readying for his X Games debut, turning laps at Milestone MX Park, Marty Wells’ EnduroCross track and Glen Helen Raceway. “We rode the last three days in a row and conditions have been perfect,” Salvini said. “Marty’s track was the hardest track I’ve ever been on! Glen Helen was tough, too. Hopefully it was good practice for the X Games track. It’s hard to know what will happen because EnduroCross is so crazy. 30 of the best riders in the world are trying to make the main, but only 10 riders will make it. I will be happy if I am one of them!”
#189 Andreas Lettenbichler – Germany
Like Salvini, Andreas Lettenbichler is an X Games Enduro X rookie, but he is no stranger to extreme enduros. “Letti,” is one of the strongest off-road riders in the world, having reached the podium in extreme events like the Erzberg Rodeo, The Tough One and the Roof of Africa. Though not an EnduroCross series regular, the German’s world-renowned talent and tenacity earned him an invite to X Games 18.
So far in 2012, the factory Husqvarna rider has competed in Hell’s Gate where he finished fifth, the Red Bull City Scramble in New Zealand where he finished fourth, and the recent Red Bull Romaniacs, where the Monster Energy-backed rider got on the podium with a second-place finish. “It’s an honor to be coming to X Games,” Letti said. “This year has been going well for me so far, and I hope to keep the consistency going at the Enduro X race.”
Summer X Games 18 will be broadcast globally both on television and online. Check your local listings for information or go to http://espn.go.com/action/xgames.
For more information on the entire 2012 Husqvarna line-up, please go to www.husqvarna-motorcyclesna.com. Head to your nearest dealership to pick up a copy of the 2012 RiDE MORE Catalog, available now!