[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...

Features

17 hours ago
fmx_insider

FMX Insider No.26: Pete Anderson

Queensland’s Pete Anderson is a smooth contender at FMX competitions and demonstrations.

Features

1 day ago
NZ_INSIDER

NZ Insider No.21: Taupo’s MX Fest

The event on everyone’s minds right now is Taupo’s famous annual Labour Weekend extravaganza.

Galleries

2 days ago
MOTO_6_TRAILER_POST_1

MOTO 6: Official Movie Trailer

Check out the official trailer for MOTO 6: The Movie, starring Josh Cachia, Kade Mosig and more.

Galleries

2 days ago
justin_hill_2015

Justin Hill 2015 SX Preparation

Watch Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill preparing for the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series.

News

3 days ago
img20987

The Careers Of Canard & Millsaps

Jackson Reardon takes an in-depth look at the troubled careers of Trey Canard and Davi Millsaps.

Galleries

3 days ago
moss_highlights

Highlights: Phillip Island Supercross

Highlights from the third and fourth rounds of the 2014 Australian Supercross Championships.

Galleries

3 days ago
RV_EUROPE

GoPro: Ryan Villopoto in Europe

Ryan Villopoto rides his all-new 2015 KX450F-SR for the first time in Grevenbroich, Germany.

Galleries

4 days ago
analysis

Analysis: 2014 Monster Energy Cup

Ricky Carmichael, Ralph Sheehan and Jeff Emig break down the 2014 Monster Energy Cup.