Corona, CA – July 2, 2012 – ESPN’s X Games crew saved the most talked about event for last at X Games 18 in Los Angeles, California, and Husqvarna Motorcycles North America (HMNA) brought out all of the heavy hitters with hopes of taking home some X Games spoils. With more than 15,000 in attendance at the STAPLES Center, and millions more watching at home on ESPN, Husqvarna’s Cory Graffunder made X Games history becoming the first Canadian rider to earn a medal in men’s Enduro X.
It was truly an international effort for Husqvarna as four riders from four different countries came together for X Games. CH Racing Husqvarna’s Alex Salvini made the trip from Italy, and turned some heads by qualifying sixth in his first-ever EnduroCross race. Extreme enduro ace Andreas Lettenbichler made the trek from Germany, and joined American EnduroCross regular Kyle Redmond in flying the Husqvarna colors in the STAPLES Center.
Both European riders rode strong, but didn’t have enough luck on their side and barely missed qualifying for the main. “This was a huge international event,” Lettenbichler explained. “We came into X Games not really knowing what to expect. It was a good lesson on what we need to work on for next year. I can’t wait to come back!”
Redmond returned to action after missing the previous EnduroCross round due to a fractured ankle. Though he was not yet 100%, Redmond toughed it out and had the good fortune of qualifying through his heat race. “It was really good out there,” he explained. “The course became more difficult as the race went on, and I just kept moving and passing people as we went. I didn’t even know I got second until I got back to the pits, so I was really happy!” Redmond moved into the main where he went on to finish ninth after recovering from an early race tangle with points-leader Taddy Blazusiak.
In the end it was all about the Canadian phenom, Cory Graffunder, who successfully held off a late race charge by Blazusiak and held on to be the first Husqvarna racer to earn an X Games medal since 2004. “I can’t even describe how it feels,” Graffunder said. “I really never thought I would ever hold an X Games medal. On that last lap I could hear him (Taddy) in the tunnel; it’s like he wanted me to know he was there. I kept my head down and cleaned the matrix and knew that I had won a medal for Husqvarna and Canada. Happy Canada Day, everybody!”
“We are all so proud of Cory and what he is doing for the brand!” HMNA President Kris Odwarka commented. “We were all thrilled to see two Husqvarnas in the main event and we can’t wait to see how Cory and Kyle finish out the year.”
With his podium finish at X Games, round three of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series, Graffunder moves into fifth in points, while Redmond’s finish moves him into 11th, despite missing the second round due to his injured ankle.
Cory Graffunder will be back in action this weekend at the Fireworks Extreme Enduro in Reno, NV. The AMA EnduroCross series returns to racing September 15th in Ontario, CA where Kyle Redmond hopes to be a hometown favorite.
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!