Husqvarna’s Oosthuizen in titanic title tussle
Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing rider William Oosthuizen was one of the stars of an epic E1 class 2018 MSA National Enduro Championship decider in Mpumalanga on Sunday as he fought to the very last metre for the title. Oosthuizen ultimately conceded the championship to arch rival Kyle Flanagan on a count-back of most race wins after they tied on points, while senior class rookie Matthew Green made it two Pepson Plastics Husqvarnas racing with Liqui Moly and Metzeler on the E1 title podium in third.
Oosthuizen, who had led the E1 title race from the outset, knew that two second-places over the double-header Mpumalanga weekend would not be good enough if Flanagan won, so after ending second behind Flanagan on Saturday he had it all to do on Sunday, which counted as its own points scoring race as he led Flanagan by just three championship points, with the winner scoring three more points than the second placed man…
The pace was fierce from the start as Mossel Bay rider Oosthuizen led the way after the first loop of a tough track through the rocks and rivers of the eastern escarpment, but Flanagan hit back to lead the way after the second lap before Oosthuizen went back ahead to take a three-second lead into the final loop. Flanagan was however quicker on that crucial final loop to take the win to draw even with Oosthuizen on points, but having won more races through the year, he took the championship on a split decision.
“What can I say,” William concluded. “My Pepson Plastics Husqvarna team gave me the best bike today and I gave it my absolute all, but Kyle pulled it off in the end — well done to him on a great effort — Sunday was an epic duel to the death none of us will ever forget! “I have so many people to thank for an incredible year in the saddle — to Fred Fensham, Anthony Trichardt and the entire Pepson Plastics Husqvarna family, my family and all my supporters, thanks one and all. “It was an awesome season — so close, but no cigar!”
It was also the end of an epic season for young Nottingham Road KZN E1 rider Matthew Green on his open class rookie year, both at home and abroad. “This year was all about learning for me so I am over the moon with third in the championship!” Mathew admitted. “I had a good weekend in Mpumalanga — third on Saturday and fourth on Sunday, to wrap up that championship podium. “I’ve learned so much and have so many people to thank, not least of all my awesome Pepson Plastics Husqvarna team — it’s been a great honour to grow and learn with my racing family!”
“Today was one of those days,” Husqvarna South Africa brand manager Fred Fensham wrapped it up. “It was nerve wracking to witness from the sidelines, so I can’t imagine what it must have been like on the bike, but William gave it his absolute all today and missed out on the title by the narrowest of margins. “Matthew has also had a great season and we can be proud of both of their efforts and results — all we can do is salute the entire Pepson Plastics Husqvarna team on a brilliant effort — well done to all of you!”