South African motocross racer, Gareth Swanepoel, is headed stateside to take part in the 9th round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the Unadilla Sports Center in Berlin NY, this weekend. 24-year-old Swanepoel who races for the Factory Kawasaki Race team in Europe, posted a career best in the Czech Republic last weekend with a (5-7) score in the hotly contested FIM MX World championship.
Currently 8th in the World championship standings, Swanepoel is keen to match up against the US top in Berlin NY, this weekend: “I actually wanted to race in Millville, early this year, as the South African GP was cancelled so we had a gap in the calendar. I then decided not to ride and focus on the GP’s. My manager ,Glen Dempsey, came to me on Friday at the Czech GP and threw the idea at me of racing Unadilla and I said go for it! He made the call to Mike Fisher from Kawasaki USA who was keen on the idea and a day later I had my ticket booked. My team and Kawasaki Europe are really supportive of me going so I’m looking forward to flying the flag for the Euro’s and South African’s of course.”
‘Swanie’ is no stranger to Unadilla having made his debut in 2004 in the 125 class. “I’ve raced in Unadilla before on a 125cc and got an 8th place so I was pretty pumped with the result. I also got to meet some great people and make new friends and fans so I’m looking forward to going back. I enjoyed the Unadilla track as it is quite similar to the European GP tracks and it gets really rough which suits me well. “
Swanepoel will fill in for an injured Ryan Villopotto under the Factory Kawasaki rig and although there is no pressure on the South African, ‘Swanie’ is optimistic about a good result . “ I’m quite excited about racing the new 1 day program. In Europe we have a Saturday qualification race and then 2 x 35min + 2 lap races on Sunday which is quite a heavy schedule. That’s not to say that it will be easier in the US. I think the guys give everything they have on Saturday so I’m expecting the pace to be really fast.”
For more information on Gareth Swanepoel check out his website: www.swanie.co.za