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Discounturi pentru Red Bull Romaniacs

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Dementor

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romaniacsDiscounturi pentru Red Bull Romaniacs

În perioada 25 -30 iunie, Dementor KTM este prezent la cel mai dificil raliu hard enduro din lume și oferă discounturi celor care își achiziționează piese de la reprezentanții noștrii. Ne găsiți în riders paddock, unde mecanicii Dementor KTM te pot ajuta să îți achiziționezi piesele care se potrivesc motocicletei tale și te pot îndruma în ceea ce privește modul în care poți să îți repari, provizoriu, motocicleta în condițiile extreme de pe traseul de la Romaniacs.

 

Program Dementor la Red Bull Romaniacs

Vineri 25 iunie

Riders Paddock – B.dul Coposu – Sibiu  11.00 – 19.00

Sâmbătă 26 iunie

Riders Paddock – B.dul Coposu – Sibiu 08.30 – 19.00

Duminică 27 iunie

Riders Paddock – B.dul Coposu – Sibiu 09.00 – 19.00

Luni 28 iunie

Riders Paddock – Hotel Petroșani – Petroșani  14.00 – 19.00

Marți 29 iunie

Riders Paddock – B.dul Copsou – Sibiu 14.00 – 19.00

Miercuri 30 iunie

Riders Paddock – B.dul Coposu – Sibiu 09.00 – 16.00

Sursa

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    • De Dementor
      The team behind the (Dakar) team or five short stories of love and passion – Part 1
      The Dakar Rally is a massive operation, therefore it requires more working hands and ingenious minds than any other cross-country rally of the season. This year, the team backing up the Red Bull KTM Factory Riders included 33 members, achieving a historical result under the command of new team leader, Jordi Viladoms. We talked to five of those who joined the orange family only for Dakar.
      They came to Lima to take care of riders, team, trucks, motorhomes, and KTM customers. How did they join KTM´s Dakar operation, and what are their roles? How was it once upon a time in Africa, what has changed, what has remained exactly the same, and what’s love got to do with it?
      Everything!
      Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      August Linortner, truck driver
      “I did my first Dakar in 1997. We had a satellite phone the size of luggage we would use only as a last resort. We were travelling without much information, yet that was not our main concern. The truck was too heavy, and it was the truck driver’s first Dakar,” he laughs, pointing at himself. “We were learning how to survive the Dakar as we were doing it. Several times in Mauritania, it took 24 hours from bivouac to bivouac. It was unreal! That place sure wasn’t gentle on our truck; it’s the most arid, unforgiving country you can imagine. We broke everything possible, finishing the African Dakars with completely destroyed trucks. When it came to big repairs, we mostly relied on miracles. Surprise, surprise – they do happen in Africa!”
      Even though Africa was tough, his eyes light up: “Africa gave us all a feeling of complete freedom. Nothing was granted, nothing was easy, and communication was a real challenge. But people inside and outside the bivouacs were all incredibly friendly. Of course, the Dakar has changed a lot recently. Distances have shortened considerably, motorhomes are now loaded with fresh fruits, the coffee machine is always within reach and assistance always on time. On the other hand, the Dakar will never be easy. I still feel the sense of adventure, and working for such a team is a dream come true.”
      Before he ventured offroad, the ex-road racer was working for Mike Leitner. Later on, he changed disciplines, yet his work remained more or less the same. “I am taking care of the motorsport fleet trucks, all together there are 15 trucks under my watch. Besides that, I am the handy man of the motorsport building. I solve practically everything,” says a life-long Dakar university student. “I left school at 15, I got my hands dirty and my passion for bikes brought me to the Dakar. This is the university I am still enrolled at, collecting the craziest memories of my life, like all students do.”
      Red Bull KTM Team Truck Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      Tom Haider, personal assistant
      “This is the third Dakar of my life,” says Tom, preparing the motorhome for Hiasi, nickname for Matthias, and Luciano, the two riders sharing the Dakar home for 10 days. “I’ve known Hiasi for a very long time. We met on the motocross track, where else? We love the same sport, but he is obviously from a different league. I started late, but still competed on national level. Well, occasionally I still put on my riding gear if I am not doing up some old car,” laughs the 34-year-old IT specialist from Salzburg.
      His story of how he became a mechanic specialized for hard cases, is full of wisdom and therefore, worth sharing. “I was 19 and I´d just bought my first car. It was an old Audi Quattro, with some issues, of course. I took it to the workshop where they were supposed to repair it, but I wasn’t happy with the work done. And even less pleased with the huge amount of money they wanted from me! I was discussing it with the workshop owner, trying to negotiate and lower the price, because I didn’t want to pay for their mistake, when the owner had enough and said to me: ‘Ok, go, but if you don’t like our work, you will have to do it on your own.’ And I did it. Years later, I was thinking about what he said to me and realized how valuable that was. It gave me the power to think that nothing is too difficult for me, and that I can learn all by myself,” remembers Tom.
      So, he did repair his car. He repaired other people’s cars, mostly old ones with complicated issues. He even built himself a racecar. And all that knowledge brought him all the way to rally sport. For his first race, he prepared during the flight. “I had 40, 50 pages of car instructions and the flight was long enough to study them,” laughs Tom, but admits it was no walk in the park; rally cars are super expensive and you need to be very precise.
      In contrast to his job where he dealt with rally cars, he didn’t need to study much for the Dakar. Matthias needed somebody to help him, and Tom was perfect for the job. Still, to take care of a rider 24 hours a day: to wake him up, bring him breakfast, help him dress, assist him to get started, and then repeat everything in reverse order when he returns to the bivouac, is not his “only” job. Tom is also the on-duty handy man, responsible for all the motorhomes. “I am here for the whole team,” explains Tom. “Though my main priority is Matthias. I have a lot of work with him, because he knows very well what he wants, but that’s also a reason why working for him is easy.”
      Matthias Walkner (AUT) Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      Miquel Pujol, responsible for spare parts
      Miquel’s Dakar journey begins on the Lisboa-Dakar route in 2006. He was 23 when the invitation arrived, and caught him eager to explore the Dark Continent. He comes from the same village as the Dakar legend Marc Coma, so the path to the rally was a short one.
      “Basically, Marc recruited me and introduced me to the rally team. At the time, Trunkenpolz was running the team, and 2006 was also the year when our team manager made his debut. That year, Andy Caldecott replaced the injured Jordi Duran, so I took care of his bike. We all know what happened to Andy on January 9, 2006. My first Dakar! I felt completely devastated. The next year, Jordi Viladoms had a big crash, and we again returned home with a bitter taste in our mouths. But that was Africa, it always took its toll. Fortunately, nowadays it happens less,” he says with relief, and adds: “But the most incredible thing is that the core of the team has stuck together all these years. Stefan is still here, as are Rolli, August, Miki and Jordi.”
      After a break of several years, Miquel made his comeback to the team, and to the Dakar, which in 2009 had switched continents. A few years ago, he would make his own switch from mechanic to spare parts manager, now having approximately 1000 spare parts under his wing. Happy to be part of the KTM Dakar team, he explains: “I didn’t study to work as a mechanic, I am an industrial engineer, but when Marc offered me a job, I grabbed the opportunity to enter motorsports with both hands. The greatest power of KTM is the team spirit. We work like a family, you can feel it. Sure, in the past there was a big rivalry between the French and Spanish teams. Fights between Cyril and Marc were also difficult for the team. Now the air we breathe is lighter, even if the Dakar is always tough. It doesn’t matter how long it is or where we race, it’s still the most unpredictable race in the world.”
      When the nights are extremely short, Miquel sleeps on the truck, under the stars. When the nights are a bit longer, he might put up the tent. Sometimes, during the night, he would also become nostalgic. Speaking of the joy of being part of the orange family, during the rally expeditions he misses his own. “Sure I want to be a good dad, but it’s not easy with this job. We are away a lot, and this is the major downside. My son is almost three years old and starts to feel my absence.” It’s not the best consolation, but to live your life with two families?
      Tools & spare parts Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      Photos: Marcin Kin
    • De Dementor
      Interview of the Month: Nathan Watson – French Beach Race Champion & WESS preview
      Winner of the French Beach Race Championship and third overall in the World Enduro Super Series, Nathan Watson has enjoyed a memorable 12 months of racing.
      It’s been a busy, whirlwind 12 months for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Nathan Watson. From classic enduro to beach racing, with hard enduro and cross-country in between, Watson has achieved standout performances in both the World Enduro Super Series and the French Beach Race Championship. Winning the iconic Le Touquet beach race recently gave the young Brit his biggest ever international victory.
      Nathan Watson (GBR) Le Touquet (FRA) 2019 © P. Haudiquert
      Contesting the inaugural WESS championship during 2018, Watson threw himself into a wide and varied mix of disciplines. Always delivering his best, he rode admirably in his debut appearances at Erzbergrodeo and Red Bull Romaniacs, while taking a podium result at the Hawkstone Park Cross-Country before winning the Red Bull Knock Out. His ‘never-say-die’ attitude saw him end his WESS campaign in a promising and impressive third overall.
      With no time to dwell on his success, he quickly turned his attention to his first love of beach racing and the hotly contested French Beach Race Championship. From six rounds, the KTM rider proved himself an eventual worthy champion by winning an astonishing four races. His greatest moment came at the series’ finale – the grueling Enduropale du Touquet. A come-from-behind ride to victory saw the young Brit achieve a childhood dream as he etched his name onto the winner’s trophy at the world-famous race.
      Nathan Watson (GBR) KTM 450 SX-F Le Touquet (FRA) 2019 © P. Haudiquert
      With his championship celebrations now over, the KTM BLOG spoke to Nathan about his recent accomplishments, what’s been a varied and challenging 12 months and the 2019 WESS season, which begins in May …
      Congratulations Nathan on winning the Enduropale du Touquet. How does it feel to have won the world’s single most important beach race?
      “It’s incredible to have won Le Touquet. It’s such an iconic race, that’s been running long before I was even born. I don’t think the enormity of the result has really sunk in yet. I’ve dreamed of winning this race since I was a child and followed it throughout my racing career, hoping one day I could be in this position I’m in now. To actually tick it off my bucket list is awesome – it’s a career highlight for sure.”
      What makes the race itself so difficult to master?
      “There’s so many factors that can go wrong in the race, which makes it so hard to win. For a start the volume of riders is insane. There’s over 1000 competitors out on track from all ability levels. The track itself is about 15 kilometers long. One half is flat out and the other is enormous sand whoops. When you factor that and dodging slower traffic for three hours, it becomes so physical and so risky at high speed. It’s really easy for something to go wrong and that’s what makes it so hard to get right on the day.”
      Your Enduropale du Touquet victory also led to you winning the French Beach Race series. Did that result come by surprise?
      “Arriving at Le Touquet I was third overall in the standings and 40 points behind leader Milko Potisek, so winning the title felt out of reach. But then this is a race where anything can and usually does happen, so I didn’t rule it out. However, when Milko and myself were racing for the win on the final two laps I was sure the title was his. However, after I crossed the finish line we began to notice that he hadn’t appeared. As other riders finished, suddenly winning the title was a possibility. It was kind of something we didn’t expect to happen, so it’s been great to wrap that up too. To win the championship with a victory at Le Touquet is a fantastic end to a brilliant season. I can’t thank KTM and the team enough for their support.”
      Nathan Watson (GBR) & Team Le Touquet (FRA) 2019 © P. Haudiquert
      It’s been an incredible beach racing season for KTM by winning the championship, Enduropale du Touquet and of course the Red Bull Knock Out. What contributing factor has led to such dominance?
      “Beach racing is very much a team effort. I don’t think people realize just how complex it is. There are so many factors to consider – the length of the course, the firmness of the sand, volume of riders and how all those things affect fuel consumption and pitstop strategy. I’m lucky to have a great crew behind me and in particular our team manager Tof Meyer, who’s so passionate about it. He was Antoine Meo’s old trainer and he stepped forward to take on management of the team when Antoine moved to rally. His wealth of knowledge about this sport is incredible. Nothing’s overlooked – even down to knowing which side of start line has the firmest sand, in order to get the best start. When you line up against 1000 riders, it’s the details like this which prove critical and a reason why, with Tof’s expertise, we’ve become the team to beat.”
      How does the beach race setup of your KTM 450 SX-F differ from a motocross one?
      “My beach racing KTM 450 SX-F is a special bike. It really only works best in a beach race and when riding above 80 per cent because the setup is so unique and stiff. We run a longer swingarm to increase the wheel base length and improve stability at such high speeds. The front forks are set below the top of the triple clamps to try and lengthen it that bit further, so it doesn’t do tight 180 degree turns. The suspension is harder and stiffer all round because there are only a few changes of direction on the track. Really, you want it to work best in a straight line over sand whoops. You need top-end speed for the main straight, but still need responsive power to negotiate the whoops. To get around that we run a six-speed enduro gearbox, but gearing is always a debate depending on how the course is laid out. Our sprocket ratio for Le Touquet was 13:50. I generally prefer to run a 50-tooth rear sprocket to suit the whoops but that can make the engine rev too high on the straight. I did lose out on top speed on the main straight but gained a lot on the whoops.”
      Nathan Watson (GBR) KTM 450 SX-F Le Touquet (FRA) 2019 © P. Haudiquert
      Looking forward to the upcoming World Enduro Super Series, what’s your thoughts on the season ahead having finished third overall in 2018?
      “I like the mix of events on the calendar this year. It’s 50/50 between classic enduro and hard enduro, so it doesn’t necessarily favor one specific discipline. With a full year of WESS under my belt I have a better idea of what to expect for the hard enduro races too. They proved a huge learning curve to me last year and by having raced them I can now tailor my training and preparation to suit. I think that’s what took me most by surprise – the fact that each hard enduro race is so different. Classic enduro has a consistent format and routine regardless of event, whereas Erzbergrodeo is a four-hour race and Red Bull Romaniacs is five days.”
      Are there any events that stand out to you the most and where you will aim to deliver you best results in?
      “Outside of beach racing I’m a classic enduro rider at heart, so I will want to deliver my best in those races. Also, the Hawkstone Park Cross-Country is my home race. I was second there in 2018 and would really love to go one place better next September. I saw first hand just how important a win can be in the series. Winning Red Bull Knock Out lifted me up to third in the final championship standings, so I’ll be pushing hard to take a victory where I can. With four classic enduro races I know I have a very strong chance to improve on my result of third overall from last year.”
      Nathan Watson (GBR) KTM 350 EXC-F Hawkstone Park (GBR) 2018 © Future7Media
      The 2019 World Enduro Super Series begins at Portugal’s Extreme XL Lagares on May 10-12.
      Photos: P. Haudiquert | Future7Media
    • De Dementor
      Floating the Armada: 2019 KTM MotoGP™ lineup gets ready for the sea
      Posted in Bikes, Racing Nine riders and motorcycles filled the new City Hall building in Mattighofen. The 2019 presentation not only showcased the fresh faces and colors that will adorn KTM’s fastest ever collection of race machinery but also the stunning breadth of the factory’s effort in MotoGPTM.
      Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MotoGP Team Presentation 2019 © Sebas Romero
      KTM AG CEO Stefan Pierer may have said “in this racing world we are still beginners” in reference to only the third year of ‘orange presence’ in the MotoGPTM category (seven in total in Grand Prix after claiming the inaugural year of Moto3 in 2012) but the company now has a longer spread than any other motorcycle brand in the FIM World Championship. A rider can take his first steps in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup with a KTM RC 250 GP (the feeder series established in 2007 and racing at seven of the MotoGPTM events in 2019) and progress through Moto3, Moto2 and up to one of four bikes in the flagship class.
      It was this ‘visual map’ to world championship acclaim (minus the Rookies machine) that was so stark on a stage that also contained five world titles, more than sixty Grand Prix wins and over one-hundred-and-fifty podiums. There were three teams and three different types of motorcycle and French, Spanish, Portuguese, Malaysian, Italian, South African, German and Turkish talent watched over by management figures and experienced experts like Aki Ajo, Pit Beirer, Mike Leitner and Hervé Poncharal.
      Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MotoGP Team Presentation 2019 © Sebas Romero
      The orange, black, blue and stunning chrome decaling decorated bikes of 250cc, 765cc and 1000cc and the overall line-up reads:
      MotoGP
      Pol Espargaró – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
      Johann Zarco – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
      Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Tech3
      Hafizh Syahrin – Red Bull KTM Tech3
      Moto2
      Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Ajo
      Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo
      Marco Bezzecchi – Red Bull KTM Tech3
      Philipp Öttl – Red Bull KTM Tech3
      Moto3
      Can Öncü – Red Bull KTM Ajo
      “It’s a very special moment for me and another milestone; seeing this structure in place,” said Beirer, dressed in the same collarless jacket-and-suit combo worn by all of KTM’s largest road racing collective ever created. “We have been building it since 2012 and it is all in place now.”
      Can Öncü (TUR), Jorge Martin (ESP), Brad Binder (RSA), Pol Espargaró (ESP), Johann Zarco (FRA), Miguel Oliveira (POR), Hafizh Syahrin (MAL), Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) & Philipp Öttl (GER) © Sebas Romero
      The German likened the ladder through the MotoGPTM levels to the similar philosophy applied to Junior, European and then World Championship racing in offroad, principally motocross and MXGP where the factory have seen teenage ‘promise’ like Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Jeffrey Herlings, Jordi Tixier, Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado mature into FIM title winners.
      KTM have long been a major player on the dirt and now the rush is on to reach similar gains across the asphalt. “This is a five-year program and by the end we want to see podiums and for the upcoming racing season I’d like to see single digit results; that’s realistic because we are still collecting data and we miss all the experience of our competitors,” said Stefan Pierer with typical defiance and no shortage of ambition. “For 2019 – in gambler’s speak – it’s ‘all in’.”
      MotoGPTM has the second of two official pre-season tests from the February 23-25 at Losail in Qatar with the season starting at the same venue on March 10.
      [embedded content]
      Photos: Sebas Romero
    • De Dementor
      Fresh Orange Talent: KTM UK Youth Team Makes Its Mark
      Posted in Bikes, Racing When you’re READY TO RACE age is irrelevant. Adrenalin courses through veins, young or old. Passion fills hearts, youthful or mature. Determination grits teeth, be they baby or adult. Regardless of whether you’ve got school or work to go to on Monday, when the gate drops every racer’s aspiration is to reach the chequered flag first.
      That desire was spotted in seven special riders that were selected to compete for the Judd Orange Brigade, KTM UK’s official youth motocross team. 2018 was the inaugural season for the squad, with KTM UK joining forces with Judd Racing, a youth motocross parts specialist, to form the team. With national championship winning representation at senior level, KTM UK wanted to provide a platform for the next generation of racers to hone their skills. “Because KTM are market leaders in the youth competition market, the easy thing would be to let that racing scene look after itself,” says KTM UK Managing Director, Matt Walker. “But we have a responsibility to ensure that racing at junior levels is healthy and with this new program KTM UK is providing the opportunity for young racers to graduate into our senior teams and to possibly make a career in the sport.”
      L to R: Billy Askew, Archie Britton, Jack Grayshon, Zane Stephens, Drew Anderson, Bailey Johnston, Aaron-Lee Hanson © TooFastMedia
      The seven riders that comprised Judd Orange Brigade’s first intake of pilots in 2018 were armed with new KTM SX machinery shod with KTM PowerParts and WP suspension. The team were then decked out in KTM PowerWear to ensure that they had all the right equipment for the tough season ahead. Some riders were bristling with experience, others were showing the first signs of talent, so it took a keen eye from Michelle Arnold from Judd Racing to pick the seven that would battle it out for 2018 honors. Running from KTM 50 SX to KTM 250 SX-F, every class had Judd Orange Brigade representation in it, with the riders running from a paddock set-up to rival many senior teams.
      The British Youth Nationals (now British Youth Championship) is the official national championship for youth riders in the UK, and was the prime focus of the Judd Orange Brigade in their first season. The six round series has developed racers that have gone on to international level racing, pro contracts and junior world championship rides. The weekend long events are popular, with four races across two days to ensure that each rider gets as much saddle time as possible. The pocket rockets in the championship would race all night if they could fit lights to their bikes, but lots of race time means fast-tracking skills and honing race craft at some of the best tracks in the UK. The competition in each class is intense, and would test every rider in the Judd Orange Brigade.
      © TooFastMedia
      There are so many unknowns ahead of any season, regardless of how well training has gone in the run up to round one. Most of the Judd Orange Brigade had campaigned in the series before, but moves to bigger bikes, switched machines or an influx of new talent into the championship means that no-one can ever be sure of how a season will pan out. Zane Stephens, jumping on a KTM 65 SX for the first time, showed his potential by scoring a third in the (indoor) UK Arenacross series that precedes the outdoor season – an impressive achievement for the youngest rider in the field. But the rest of the team would have to wait while the tracks in the UK dried after a very wet UK winter.
      After the weather stymied the start of the season, the delayed first round got underway well for the team. The Judd Orange Brigade quickly confirmed that the team were a force to be reckoned with thanks to a string of wins and a pair of overall firsts as proof that the team hit the ground running. Any race season has its ups and its downs, but aside from the odd hiccup, injury, puncture or crash the Judd Orange Brigade took the British Youth Nationals by storm. The next rounds proved that this was no fluke as the team built on each other’s success throughout the season. More success means more camaraderie within the team, buoyed on by more wins.
      © TooFastMedia
      While their school mates would have been away on holidays in the summer, the Judd Orange Brigade were hard at work, refining their skills at a boot camp put on for the team by KTM UK. Rider coaching, WP suspension set-up, psychological training, social media and presentation skills were all experienced by the team over two intense days on track. This was an opportunity for the team to gel in a less competitive environment, so each rider could focus on building on their strengths. Any weaknesses were confronted by Jen Duffee, a rider development coach who focuses on the bit between each rider’s ears. Arguably, this was the most difficult session of all, and certainly one that was alien to most riders, but the way they took all of Duffee’s advice on board was impressive.
      The results of the boot camp were clear to see – Bailey Johnston and Aaron-Lee Hanson both went 1-1-1-1, Jack Grayshon took three wins out of four and Drew Anderson took a pair of wins. The rest of the team also pushed forward impressively. However, in the last race of the penultimate round the youngest member of the team, Archie Britton, showed his mettle by jumping back on his bike to finish the meeting with an ankle he’d broken in four places showing that those in the Judd Orange Brigade are made of sturdy stuff.
      With everything to play for, and with calculators at the ready, the Judd Orange Brigade headed into the last round at Weston, home of the infamous beach race, in hope rather than expectation. Bailey Johnston and Aaron-Lee Hanson arrived leading their championships, but the rest of the team would have to battle hard for any glory. But only six would race at Weston, with Britton dropping from second to fifth by the end of the year.
      The track at Weston-Super-Mare had been converted from the beach race into a challenging MX track, and the championship’s first visit to the seaside venue would present the whole paddock with many unknowns. But the sand proved to be no barrier for Bailey Johnston and Aaron-Lee Hanson who cemented their championship leads at the final round to win their respective 2018 crowns. The surprises came in the 125 and 85 Big Wheel categories as Drew Anderson and Jack Grayshon turned round their fortunes and winning the round to win the series. Grayshon started the campaign with a DNF, so to finish it on top shows just how wildly a season can swing. With Billy Askew finishing the year in fourth and Zane Stephens an encouraging 10th in his first year on a KTM 65 SX the Judd Orange Brigade finished the season on a high.
      Bailey Johnston (#19) KTM 85 SX © TooFastMedia
      Ecstatic riders loved their first season with the team. On his victory, Drew Anderson said: “What a great year this has been for me, with so many ups and downs, we got it done, 2018 British Champ, 2018 Masterkids Champ. I’d love to thank everyone that made this possible, especially my family and sponsors.” Bailey Johnston, meanwhile, acknowledged a job well done, while refocusing on the job in 2019: “Well it’s been an amazing 2018, I completed all of my goals and extra! I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that helped me, because I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Now onto 2019 to chase more dreams.” Who’d bet against them not saying the same in the pro ranks …
      Drew Anderson KTM 125 SX © TooFastMedia
      Four titles out of the six on offer is a hugely impressive haul for any team, especially in its first year. Team manager Michelle Arnold couldn’t have been more proud at the season’s end. “2018 was a fantastic season for the Judd Orange Brigade. Winning 4 out of the 6 British Youth titles contended at the Judd KTM British Youth Championship in our first year was an awesome achievement, the whole team raced brilliantly, we are so proud of them all!  We’ve now set the bar very high, but that was always the intention when we set up the team with KTM.”
      But you’re only as good as your last set of results, and the off season has been a busy one for the team and the riders within. According to Michelle Arnold: “The team has expanded for 2019 from seven to ten riders, with some great new talent joining us. We have big hopes for all of our riders for the forthcoming season. The reason to enlarge the team is to successfully manage the progression and continuity of each rider’s achievements. When stepping up in an age group, we need to aid the development of each rider’s skills whilst still challenging in every youth class. We can’t wait for it to start!” Giving one rider the chance to hone his or her skills while another makes an assault on the championship future proves the team’s ambitions and ensures that KTM and the Judd Orange Brigade are driving youth racing forward in the UK. As the countdown to the 2019 season nears its end, the enlarged team is READY TO RACE!
      [embedded content]
      Photos: TooFastMedia
    • De Dementor
      The highs and lows of the 2019 Dakar Rally – Sam Sunderland
      Posted in People, Racing Sam Sunderland talks openly about how tough the 2019 Dakar proved to be with extreme highs and lows arriving with each stage of the infamous rally.
      No offroad sport is more mentally taxing than the Dakar Rally. 10, maybe as much as 15 hours alone inside your helmet racing at high speeds across unknown deserts in tough riding conditions for day after day, all on top of four or five hours sleep a night. This is Dakar they say and for rally racers like Sam Sunderland and his Red Bull KTM Factory team-mates these are the realities of racing the toughest race on earth.
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) 2019 © Sebas Romero
      For Sunderland the 2019 Dakar Rally threw a wild mix of issues above and beyond the norm. Dealing with a badly injured fellow competitor, stage wins and mechanical issues including riding with no brakes, were all in the script. The biggest blow came when he was incorrectly docked an hour time penalty by race organizers – but that came later …
      The list of events “derailing” Sam’s plan for Dakar 2019 began in week one, stage five when he witnessed and helped deal with a crashed rider, Paulo Goncalves.
      “I saw him crash, directly called the helicopter and assisted him as I could with some water, getting his gear off and trying to make him as comfortable as I could even though he was in a lot of pain,” explains Sunderland. Pro racers are focused individuals naturally, but still humans and a fellow competitor’s well-being comes first.
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      With the medics on the scene Sam was back on his bike again but both lost in terms of his pace and position in the race and unsettled: “I thought all of my work and the team’s work was going down the pan because I’d stopped to help another rider. I was a bit angry and really was just swinging off it trying to get by all these slower riders. I didn’t really have any reference to know where I was in terms of time.”
      The result was a stage win for Sam, a fact ordinarily you’d expect to be a positive for a rider? “The problem was nobody wanted to win that stage because everyone was petrified of opening the Tacna stage [following day] because they knew it was going to be hell!” says Sam.
      “I got to the finish and the media was there all going, ‘congratulations Sam, you won the stage’ and I was like, ‘Nooo!’ Outwardly I was having to be cool but riding back to the bivouac I was almost crying in my helmet thinking I’d just jacked up my whole race.”
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      The drama wasn’t over yet. “I actually opened Tacna really well and was super-pleased with my navigation.” But things took a turn quickly when he unknowingly hit a rock and broke his rear brake disc.
      “I looked down the whole disc was off the hub somehow. Every bolt had bust off and I still had 100-odd kilometers to go in the special. I continued but the caliper came off and started to hit me in the leg so I had to stop and pull it all off, cut the brake line and that’s where all the time went.”
      Riders must learn to deal with these set-backs (including riding 100s of kilometers in sand with no brake!) and must adopt a psychological reset button or an emotional mute button inside the head to lock away the problem and deal with what is in front and not behind.
      “The next day I won the stage because I had no choice. The only thing I could do was try and make up time by going all out to win. From that point onwards I could only deal with what I had,” explains Sam, perfectly illustrating the point.
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      But Sunderland’s Dakar took yet another twist the following night after stage seven when organizers issued an hour time penalty.
      Sam explains exactly how events unfolded: “I went to go in the stage and they stopped me saying there is a problem with your iritrack, there was no power, I changed the fuse and I was ready to go. I could have left sooner but they re-seeded me to fourth place at the start line.”
      Innocent until proven guilty? Not in Dakar. Back at the bivouac race organization made the leap Sam had deliberately tampered with his bike in order to not be first on the stage. “I was fuming,” explains Sam. “I had big discussions with the organizers, the FIM, with my team manager and it was no budge. They were standing firm on it and I was out the rally effectively.”
      In the rider’s mind at this point all is lost. 12 months leading up to Dakar, all the issues already overcome during the 2019 rally were blown away with a blown fuse. Sam says he was so angry he was ready to throw in the towel but out of respect for his mechanic and the KTM rally team he continued onwards.
      “Having four or five hours sleep each night and riding for hours or whatever is tough but to have all this other stuff piled on is difficult,” explains Sam.
      The perhaps unseen effect of getting a penalty from the organizers is how you are then viewed by your peers: “When the organizer gives you the penalty it is like a stamp of confirmation that you did something wrong. It looks to everyone else like they found factual evidence – of course I knew I hadn’t but from everybody’s side it looked like I had.”
      “How did I deal with all that piled on top? Not very well to be honest, my head was in the clouds,” says Sunderland. “The worst was day nine because it was a long stage, I got lost a lot, made mistakes, rode in dust a lot and it was tough.”
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      In the end the Dakar organizers quashed the penalty but only after the race had finished and after Sam had raced two stages with his “head in the clouds.”
      Emotionally, every sportsperson takes knocks physically and mentally. In offroad sport those knocks can come with a turn of the wheel but at Dakar, the toughest race on the planet, those knocks can be with sledgehammers.
      Last word to Sam: “I race to win, I was in really good shape, did all the hard work and went to Dakar to do that job but we didn’t get to play the full hand of cards. In the end, after everything that happened, I’ll take that third place and live to fight another day.”
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar 2019 © Marcin Kin
      Photos: Sebas Romero | Marcin Kin
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