Privateer Joshua Varize will ride for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team as a teammate to RJ Hampshire for the final two rounds of the Lucas Oil Por Motocross season.
Without full factory backing, Varize has had a successful rookie season in the 250 class, sitting 18th in points and landing 15th in our Power Rankings this week, just ahead of Jalek Swoll, one of the riders who’s injury created the opportunity. Swoll damaged his shoulder at Ironman last week while another teammate, Stilez Robertson, was already sidelined with injury.
Varize has not yet cracked the top 10 in an individual moto or overall finish, but he has come close on several occasions. His worst finish in his last six motos was 16th. He finished 11th overall at Budds Creek – one of three straight top-15 results in the overall standings.
“It feels amazing,” Varize told RacerX’s Kellen Brauer in an interview earlier this week. “A dream come true. Just to get the opportunity to fill in on a factory team for the last two outdoor nationals outings is a blessing. I’m stoked and can’t wait for it.”
In 20 motos this season, Varize has failed to score points only twice with a 22nd in Moto 1 of the opening round at Fox Raceway in Pala. Calif., and a 22nd in Moto 1 at Spring Creek, Minn.
“This year, the beginning of the season, it was kind of like, I was right there,” Varize said. “First moto, I didn’t even score points. Second moto, I think I got 19th. I knew I was in the realm of being able to score points every round. Every round went on and I felt like I was getting progressively better.
“Then on the three-week break, I made a lot of changes to my fitness, eating, and stuff like that, and some changes to my bike as well, minor changes. Then after the three-week break, the changes I made showed that what I did was right and was working.”
Heading back to Fox Raceway this weekend, should be a completely different experience than it was at the start of the year. Not only is he on equipment with factory support, but three consecutive top-15 finishes gives him momentum.
“I was finishing inside the top 15 for Unadilla and Budds Creek,” Varize said. “Then Budds Creek being my best national ever, going 11-11, that one felt real good. I want to for sure be in that area every round.”