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Swanepoel still unbeaten after Desert win

Pepson Plastics Husqvarna factory rider Brett Swanepoel continued with his domination of the South African Cross Country Moto OR2 championship with another class win and a brilliant second overall on the weekend’s marathon Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race in Botswana. Swanepoel, who headed to Botswana fresh from his successful debut at the Erzberg Extreme Enduro in Austria, remains unbeaten after four rounds of the SA championship.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the weekend’s result,” Brett beamed. “Louwrens Mahoney gave me a hell of a run in Botswana, but I came home with first prize, which is great because I am unbeaten so far this year. “The Desert Race is fast, tough and demanding and it’s a completely different challenge to the extremes of the Iron Giant at Erzberg just a week before. “Naturally I knew I could fully depend on my Husqvarna, which performed brilliantly throughout!”

Swanepoel was not the only Husqvarna rider to star in Botswana - Kenny Gilbert was another rider to put in a star performance aboard his OR1 class FX 450 finishing in a strong second in class to overall winner Ross Brach on both days, while team sponsor and now Masters competitor, Iain Pepper proudly fulfilled an item in his bucket list by competing in the Toyota 1000 Desert Race.

Not only did 53-year old Pepper finish the gruelling 1000km race, but he ended up a very creditable fifth on Saturday and went one better with a fourth in class on Sunday. "I think I bit off more than I could chew," Iain admitted. "But I pulled it off, which was great!"

Husqvarna SA brand manager Fred Fensham was equally thrilled by the weekend's results, especially Swanepoel’s unbeaten record so far this season: “This is another marvellous result,” Fensham explained. “But this win is especially pleasing considering it celebrates the imminent arrival of our new 2018 Husqvarna dirt bike range, which will be available in South Africa very soon.”

The Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Off Road Team now turns its attention to the Port Elizabeth round of the South African Enduro championship, for which 7-8 July event Salt Rock rider Swanepoel will as usual be joined once again by Matatiele-based open class teammate Henco Botha.