KTM announces a new era for motocross: Strong team and launch of KTM 350 SX-F
KTM on Saturday launched a strong line-up of international MX stars for the 2010 World Championship racing season and introduced the new KTM 350-SX-F on the eve of the Star Mantova pre-season event in Mantova, Italy, which heralds a new era for the company and for racing.
KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer told reporters that the company was proud to be fielding the Red Bull Factory Racing team, which is capable of winning both the MX1 and MX2 World Championship titles. He said the new bike, first shown at the EICMA in Milan in November was a true symbol of the KTM Ready to Race philosophy.
“Our factory riders are proven talent and we as a company recognise that the real race is not just on the track but also off it. That is why we strive to produce cutting edge technology and to have it reflected in products like the new KTM 350 SX-F,” Pierer said.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing factory team, which includes three current world champions and two vice world champions plus some exciting young talent, is the result of a three year development plan shaped by KTM’s Offroad Sport Director Pit Beirer and 10-times MX world champion Stefan Everts, the Team Director. The two, once rivals on the track at the top of the sport, agreed in late 2006 to work together to shape a KTM factory team capable of taking both MX1 and MX2 world titles.
The year 2010, which follows two seasons where KTM’s factory riders dominated the MX2 class, is one that Beirer and Everts hope to make a similar impression in MX1 with riders of the calibre of Antonio Cairoli, Max Nagl, the MX1 reigning vice world champion and Rui Goncalves, vice world champion of MX2 who moves up a class. Meanwhile, French MX2 world champion Marvin Musquin , Scotsman Shaun Simpson and 15-year old Jeffrey Herlings, considered by Beirer and Everts to be one of the brightest up-and-coming talents are after the MX2 honours. The factory team line-up is further strengthened by WMX World Champion Steffi Laier who is going for back-to-back world titles in 2010 and who races with the men in Sunday’s Star Mantova.
“Our Ready to Race philosophy means we must have the best factory riders on our KTM bikes but we must also consider the next generation of young talent. The Red Bull KTM Racing Team is a good reflection of this and we are confident that we can be a force to be reckoned with in both MX1 and MX2 this season. It is also a great vote of confidence from the private teams that this season there will be more than 20 KTM bikes in the GP paddock,” Beirer said.
Everts has been an important influence on the development of the KTM 350 SX-F, which is respectfully referred to as his “baby”. The bike heralds a new era for KTM product development and features both fuel injection and linkage. Developers, in constant consultation with Everts, set out to create a bike that is almost as light to handle as a 250, with an all new chassis and frame and the pro lever linkage system for increased controllability even on the most brutal tracks on the Grand Prix calendar and match it with typical KTM motor power. In 2010 the factory team will also be onboard the proven 250 SX-F and the 450 SX-F bikes. Both machines have benefited enormously from KTM’s big development program for the revolutionary new 350 SX-F, which had such strong support from Everts and the company’s R&D team.
“We are excited to see what both our factory riders and bikes are going to produce in 2010,” Everts said. “The 350 SX-F launches a new era for MX racing and it’s also a reflection of the company’s commitment to racing and to producing the best offroad machines for anyone who shares the same passion as we do.”
KTM - Ready to Race the Motocross World Championships in 2010 with
Antonio Cairoli, Max Nagl and Rui Goncalves;
Marvin Musquin, Shaun Simpson and Jeffrey Herlings;