[News]

PROFILE_DAMIAN_SMITH

AORC – Master and Apprentice update

2 years ago

This season has been far from predictable for the Master and Apprentice Project. With chosen apprentice, Jack Hanckel, sidelined pre-season due to a knee injury, PSC Husqvarna Off-Road’s Damian Smith is still running solo.

Hanckel is still in the recovery phase, with his first surgery scheduled this week – the first five months following his injury has been spent patiently waiting for his Medial Cruciate Ligament to heal. It was imperative that the MCL healed prior to his Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery.

“I know how frustrating this has been for me so I can only imagine how Jack feels,” said Damian Smith. “He is a great kid, though. Really level headed. His patience is a credit to him and he hasn’t been tempted to rush the healing process and push his recovery. As much as I want to see him back on the bike, I’m more concerned about him making a full recovery.”

During Hanckel’s absence Smith chose to run a “casual” apprentice, using the services of Callan Hayes to fill the gap. Hayes showed a lot of potential with his MX background but had a steep learning curve to adjust to the off-road scene. Hayes had mixed results, with moments of greatness marred by his extreme dislike of racing in the trees. Hayes struggled to maintain speed but managed some decent top ten results in the Pro E1 class.

Smith has been undefeated in the Veterans class this season.

Smith himself has been unbeatable in the Veterans class and currently has a 53-point lead over his closest rival going into the last half of the season.

“I’ve copped a bit of flak for competing in the Veterans class,” said Smith. “A lot of riders think I should still be in the Pro ranks but I needed to step back a bit. I’ve had a lot of injuries over the years that have taken their toll. Having said that, I still push myself when I can to compare myself to the Pro classes. Old habits die hard after 20 years of competing at that level!”

Smith will continue to ride solo until the injured Hanckel is back on deck.

“It is unlikely that we will use a replacement rider again,” continued Smith. “Callan did a great job for us filling in but I think we will preserve our resources and wait until Jack is ready to go again. The factory Husqvarna team have been awesome in their support of the Master and Apprentice Project team as have all of our associated sponsors.”

Be the first to comment...

You might also like...

News

9 hours ago
mitch_evans

2014 AJMX: Stars shine at Appin

2014 Australian Junior Motocross team members shine at Appin’s Junior MX titles.

News

10 hours ago
DITV_ROTATOR

Transmoto’s Day In The Vineyard

Entries are now open for Transmoto’s first-ever Day In The Vineyard, taking place October 26.

Galleries

10 hours ago
ktm_danny_01

Danny MacAskill: KTM Freeride E

Danny MacAskill and Jonny Walker cut loose aboard KTM Freeride Es at an old power plant.

Galleries

11 hours ago
pastrana_straight_rhythm

Straight Rhythm: Pastrana Speaks

Pastrana, Stewart, Wilson, Hansen and more offer up their thoughts on Red Bull Straight Rhythm.

Galleries

21 hours ago
roczen_suzuki

Video: Ken Roczen riding his RM-Z450

Take a look at Ken Roczen cutting laps on board his all-new Suzuki RM-Z450 at Perris Raceway.

News

22 hours ago
Barcia_Rotator

Justin Barcia signs with Yamaha

Justin Barcia signs with JGR/Toyota/Yamaha for season 2015 in America.

News

1 day ago
villopoto_01

The Next Chapter: Ryan Villopoto

“I am ready for the next chapter in my career and to accomplish new goals,” says Villopoto.

News

1 day ago
quinn_cody

2014 Australasian Safari Insights

The event was always going to be won by Rod Faggotter, Shane Diener, Quinn Cody or Ian Blythe.