Joshua Varize to finish Pro Motocross with Rockstar Husqvarna Factory Team

Varize Motocross Rockstar Husqvarna
Align Media

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.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.