Having worked and raced together already for 6 years, Joakim will also fight for victory aboard a Husaberg machine in the two years to come.
Having joined the Husaberg Factory Team in 2005 Joakim already had some great successes with the team making him one of the top contenders of the EWC as well as the IEWC nowadays.
After winning the Junior World Championship title in 2006 and 2007 he moved up to the E2 senior class where he managed to win the first GP in Sweden straight away by winning day 1 and finishing 2nd on day 2. This was also the first outing of the revolutionary new Husaberg FE 450 in the EWC, so premier victory for bike and rider. Joakim then went on to finish the season in a respectable 6th position and upped the ante in 2009 when he finished on the podium in 3rd position. During the 2010 season Joakim struggled a bit to keep up with the very strong adversary in his class but still managed to conclude the season in 5th position due to his consistency in all conditions.
During the 6 years of racing Husaberg Joakim also dominated the Swedish Enduro Championship by amassing 5 strait titles from 2006 to 2010 and winning 24 rounds in a row. Not only that, he also managed to win the infamous Novemberkåsan race 3 times (2007, 2009 and 2010) which only 12 riders have managed to do before in the 95-year history of this event.
At the end of 2009 Joakim took his first experience in the Indoor Enduro World Cup and also managed to impress in this young category of Enduro racing. He finished on the podium twice, 3rd in Genoa and 2nd in Vigo, and concluded the Championship in 3rd position as fastest 4-stroke rider aboard the Husaberg FE 390 and fastest Rookie.
Two weeks ago at the series opener of the 2011 IEWC series in Genoa Joakim basically started where he left off at the end of the 2010 series and finished the event in 2nd place, scoring his first race victory in the first final of the night, this time aboard the new Husaberg TE 300 2-stroke machine.
Especially the addition of the new 2-stroke models to the Husaberg line-up made the decision to stay with the team he was so successful with for Joakim very easy. After nine years on 4-strokes he feels that the change to a 2-stroke, not only for the IEWC but also the EWC, will give him the additional motivation and speed to take the next step in his racing career. “I am really looking forward to racing the TE 300 2-stroke in the E3 class of the EWC. I have a very good feeling on the bike and I did a lot of testing already and was faster than on the 4-stroke in all conditions.” Joakim explains.
Besides the welcome change of bike Joakim will also change his race program for 2011 by participating in the Italian Enduro Championship instead of the Swedish Enduro Championship. “I like racing back home in Sweden and I have a great record over the past 5 years, but I feel that it’s time for me to move on in order to progress and get faster. The special tests in Sweden are a lot different than in the EWC, a lot longer and on different soil, so it’s a better training for me to race against some of the best riders in the world on tests that are more similar to the ones in the EWC between the World Championship rounds Joakim comments on his decision.
Joakim Ljunggren (right) and Thomas Gustavsson (Husaberg Factory Team Manager) signing the new contract. Joakim Ljunggren after his first IEWC race victory in Genoa.