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  1. Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury Posted in People, Riding That moment when you’re sat in hospital listening to a diagnosis and the details of an injury can often be very sobering. You usually start off thinking “it won’t be so bad” approach and hope for good news. I was just the same, clinging to a small spark of hope … I can still clearly remember the moment when my Mom opened the door to the casualty ward and we rolled into surgery. I recognized my MRI images straight away. The chief physician was on the phone discussing my injury in detail with his colleague. He had the following to say: “Yeah, she’s put up a pretty good fight, but it’s not looking good…” It felt like the ground had been pulled out from under me because I was genuinely convinced that it wasn’t that bad. So, what now? Should they operate or not? I listened to many different opinions about the state of my knee and remained convinced that it was best not to have surgery. To this day I still don’t regret my decision for a second. There are studies that show that the knee can often “self-heal”. It develops a kind of tissue that allows the knee to regain the stability that was lost due to the torn ligament. The only downside: it takes months! So, you have to weigh things up and make a decision. Are you going to have an operation on your knee that may or may not prove effective, or spend months taking things real slow in training and giving your body time to heal? I have to say that it really varies depending on the situation, but in my case I had some fortune in my misfortune, because my chances of recovering without an operation looked pretty decent. © Anna-Larissa Redinger How and with what did I train to get fit again after my injury? In general, training after a knee injury is all about building up muscle. Immediately after an injury you just have to rest – that’s not great for the muscles of course because they quickly start to break down. Stability in the knee is just not a given after the resting period because neither the ligaments nor the muscles offer sufficient support, at least not for sporting activities. In terms of your daily life, you start feeling better pretty quickly. For me as an outdoorsy person, it was difficult to accept that a part of my training needed to take place inside using gym equipment. But the thought of returning to a level of 100% fitness and being able to get back on my KTM really motivated me to take those hours in the gym in my stride. It has been proven over decades that performing squats is the most effective exercise at building up muscle. But it’s real important that you do the exercise right and build things up slowly. Coordination and balance exercises on the Indo Board are also great and super fun too! There are loads of other exercises you can do in the gym or at home – the leg press is also an awesome piece of equipment. I did a lot work with my physiotherapist because, when it comes to training, it’s all about quality over quantity. Exercises are more efficient when they’re performed with accuracy and precision. © Anna-Larissa Redinger One of the first proper outdoor activities I did after getting injured was going on a ski trip. Few people would think of skiing as an appropriate comeback exercise after a knee injury and I’ll admit that I wasn’t completely up to it. The climb up is a great exercise because, similar to hiking, the knee and muscles move in a controlled and even manner and with a good rhythm. On top of that, fresh mountain air is good for the soul. The only problem is the descent. Skiing is obviously not great for the knees, which is why, at the start of my training, I had to take the cable car down – even though that seemed completely absurd to me as a passionate skier. By the end I was just grateful to be outside and active though. Sometimes you have to compromise. © Anna-Larissa Redinger Along with the skiing, I soon started mountain biking again. It was an amazing feeling getting back on my trusty Cannondale Jekyll and putting my feet to the pedals. The Jekyll is a real “Enduro” mountain bike and the seat position and the way it moves reminds me of riding Enduro on my KTM – it was so awesome! I managed to get myself very active again in a short period of time and was able to train exceptionally well. © Anna-Larissa Redinger I have to say one thing though: the whole thing would not have been possible without my Ortema K-COM . This brace gave my knee the stability it was lacking and considerably expanded my training options. I was able to get outside again and experience that feeling of freedom – and it was all thanks to my K-COM training partner. I’ve now been parted from my beloved KTM for almost 7 months! It’s been real hard being patient for so long. This time last year I was mentally preparing to take part in the Red Bull Romaniacs event. The best way to motivate myself for that was to clearly visualize myself reaching my goal and riding through the Red Bull arch. That’s how I survived those four days in the Romanian forest, which can really push a person to their limits. Today, one year later, I’m thinking about that same moment and how I got to experience it! I’ve been channeling that feeling and all the associated emotions for the past few months, which has given me so much inner strength. It was real hard, but I don’t regret it! © Esterpower Thanks to my training and my Ortema K-COM, my knee has recovered exceptionally fast. I feel fit and ready for my KTM; something that seemed far off for a very long time. It won’t be long now before I climb back in that saddle, press down on the E-starter and drown out everything around me. “READY TO RACE?” – not yet, but nearly! Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #6: The road to recovery – or check out her website! Photos: Anna-Larissa Redinger | Esterpower
  2. Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury

    Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury Posted in People, Riding That moment when you’re sat in hospital listening to a diagnosis and the details of an injury can often be very sobering. You usually start off thinking “it won’t be so bad” approach and hope for good news. I was just the same, clinging to a small spark of hope … I can still clearly remember the moment when my Mom opened the door to the casualty ward and we rolled into surgery. I recognized my MRI images straight away. The chief physician was on the phone discussing my injury in detail with his colleague. He had the following to say: “Yeah, she’s put up a pretty good fight, but it’s not looking good…” It felt like the ground had been pulled out from under me because I was genuinely convinced that it wasn’t that bad. So, what now? Should they operate or not? I listened to many different opinions about the state of my knee and remained convinced that it was best not to have surgery. To this day I still don’t regret my decision for a second. There are studies that show that the knee can often “self-heal”. It develops a kind of tissue that allows the knee to regain the stability that was lost due to the torn ligament. The only downside: it takes months! So, you have to weigh things up and make a decision. Are you going to have an operation on your knee that may or may not prove effective, or spend months taking things real slow in training and giving your body time to heal? I have to say that it really varies depending on the situation, but in my case I had some fortune in my misfortune, because my chances of recovering without an operation looked pretty decent. © Anna-Larissa Redinger How and with what did I train to get fit again after my injury? In general, training after a knee injury is all about building up muscle. Immediately after an injury you just have to rest – that’s not great for the muscles of course because they quickly start to break down. Stability in the knee is just not a given after the resting period because neither the ligaments nor the muscles offer sufficient support, at least not for sporting activities. In terms of your daily life, you start feeling better pretty quickly. For me as an outdoorsy person, it was difficult to accept that a part of my training needed to take place inside using gym equipment. But the thought of returning to a level of 100% fitness and being able to get back on my KTM really motivated me to take those hours in the gym in my stride. It has been proven over decades that performing squats is the most effective exercise at building up muscle. But it’s real important that you do the exercise right and build things up slowly. Coordination and balance exercises on the Indo Board are also great and super fun too! There are loads of other exercises you can do in the gym or at home – the leg press is also an awesome piece of equipment. I did a lot work with my physiotherapist because, when it comes to training, it’s all about quality over quantity. Exercises are more efficient when they’re performed with accuracy and precision. © Anna-Larissa Redinger One of the first proper outdoor activities I did after getting injured was going on a ski trip. Few people would think of skiing as an appropriate comeback exercise after a knee injury and I’ll admit that I wasn’t completely up to it. The climb up is a great exercise because, similar to hiking, the knee and muscles move in a controlled and even manner and with a good rhythm. On top of that, fresh mountain air is good for the soul. The only problem is the descent. Skiing is obviously not great for the knees, which is why, at the start of my training, I had to take the cable car down – even though that seemed completely absurd to me as a passionate skier. By the end I was just grateful to be outside and active though. Sometimes you have to compromise. © Anna-Larissa Redinger Along with the skiing, I soon started mountain biking again. It was an amazing feeling getting back on my trusty Cannondale Jekyll and putting my feet to the pedals. The Jekyll is a real “Enduro” mountain bike and the seat position and the way it moves reminds me of riding Enduro on my KTM – it was so awesome! I managed to get myself very active again in a short period of time and was able to train exceptionally well. © Anna-Larissa Redinger I have to say one thing though: the whole thing would not have been possible without my Ortema K-COM . This brace gave my knee the stability it was lacking and considerably expanded my training options. I was able to get outside again and experience that feeling of freedom – and it was all thanks to my K-COM training partner. I’ve now been parted from my beloved KTM for almost 7 months! It’s been real hard being patient for so long. This time last year I was mentally preparing to take part in the Red Bull Romaniacs event. The best way to motivate myself for that was to clearly visualize myself reaching my goal and riding through the Red Bull arch. That’s how I survived those four days in the Romanian forest, which can really push a person to their limits. Today, one year later, I’m thinking about that same moment and how I got to experience it! I’ve been channeling that feeling and all the associated emotions for the past few months, which has given me so much inner strength. It was real hard, but I don’t regret it! © Esterpower Thanks to my training and my Ortema K-COM, my knee has recovered exceptionally fast. I feel fit and ready for my KTM; something that seemed far off for a very long time. It won’t be long now before I climb back in that saddle, press down on the E-starter and drown out everything around me. “READY TO RACE?” – not yet, but nearly! Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #6: The road to recovery – or check out her website! Photos: Anna-Larissa Redinger | Esterpower
  3. The benchmark is set higher: The latest generation of KTM SX is here Posted in Bikes KTM is dominating the battle. In the last 10 years there has been one consistent performer in the motocross and supercross championships worldwide, and that’s the KTM SX models. KTM 450 SX-F MY2019 © KTM This week we see the release of the latest generation, model year 2019, an evolution of something great into something even more incredible. Ultra-light, world beating, benchmark-setting motocross machines from the KTM 50 SX for the youngest orange fans, to the Motocross World Championship winning KTM 450 SX-F powerhouse. Whilst on first glance the adult KTM 125 SX, KTM 150 SX, KTM 250 SX, KTM 250 SX-F, KTM 350 SX-F and KTM 450 SX-F machines may look similar to before, what lies beneath is years of developmental excellence with a new chassis and refined engines – in fact around 60% of the parts on these models are new. As the sharpest weapons for the job, the world-winning technologies aboard these orange machines have been tested and developed firstly to win championships, and then for serial production. The latest KTM SX generation is READY TO RACE more than ever. Journalists are gearing up to take a first ride on the KTM SX models in Italy to experience the new machines for the very first time. Having enjoyed a meal of copious pasta in keeping with Cairoli’s #gofastaeatpasta mantra no doubt, the media will ride the Malagrotta circuit, the home track of nine-time World Champion Cairoli, where he and five-time Supercross World Champion Ryan Dungey are on-hand to assist with the presentation of the latest KTM serial production machines that boast the development that unquestionably propelled them to championship success. Here we share a few images of the KTM MY2019 machines that will be available in dealers from June onwards. KTM 250 SX-F MY2019 © KTM Photos: KTM
  4. The benchmark is set higher: The latest generation of KTM SX is here Posted in Bikes KTM is dominating the battle. In the last 10 years there has been one consistent performer in the motocross and supercross championships worldwide, and that’s the KTM SX models. KTM 450 SX-F MY2019 © KTM This week we see the release of the latest generation, model year 2019, an evolution of something great into something even more incredible. Ultra-light, world beating, benchmark-setting motocross machines from the KTM 50 SX for the youngest orange fans, to the Motocross World Championship winning KTM 450 SX-F powerhouse. Whilst on first glance the adult KTM 125 SX, KTM 150 SX, KTM 250 SX, KTM 250 SX-F, KTM 350 SX-F and KTM 450 SX-F machines may look similar to before, what lies beneath is years of developmental excellence with a new chassis and refined engines – in fact around 60% of the parts on these models are new. As the sharpest weapons for the job, the world-winning technologies aboard these orange machines have been tested and developed firstly to win championships, and then for serial production. The latest KTM SX generation is READY TO RACE more than ever. Journalists are gearing up to take a first ride on the KTM SX models in Italy to experience the new machines for the very first time. Having enjoyed a meal of copious pasta in keeping with Cairoli’s #gofastaeatpasta mantra no doubt, the media will ride the Malagrotta circuit, the home track of nine-time World Champion Cairoli, where he and five-time Supercross World Champion Ryan Dungey are on-hand to assist with the presentation of the latest KTM serial production machines that boast the development that unquestionably propelled them to championship success. Here we share a few images of the KTM MY2019 machines that will be available in dealers from June onwards. KTM 250 SX-F MY2019 © KTM Photos: KTM
  5. Interview of the Month: The Zarco Effect – What will KTM gain for MotoGP™ in 2019 …? Posted in People, Racing Red Bull KTM’s confirmation of a two-year contract with French ace Johann Zarco is one of the headline-grabbers of the MotoGPTM season so far. What can the works team expect once the #5 becomes orange? To gain some insight into the 28-year-old athlete we asked one of the people that knows him best; Aki Ajo. The quiet Finn sits in his bare and immaculate race truck office in the Jerez MotoGPTM paddock. The subject of Johann Zarco is an easy one for the former racer to talk about. Ajo has strong and well-nurtured links with KTM and is responsible for the company’s first Moto3 crown in 2012 and continues to marshal the KTM RC 250 GP as well as the official Moto2 squad to this day. Ajo also has intimate knowledge of Zarco, his character and also his development in Grand Prix. He signed a young Johann (the first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup champ in 2007) for his 125cc squad in 2011 and helped him classify second in the world championship in just his third term. Three years later and they collaborated again in Moto2 and claimed two titles; Zarco becoming the most successful French rider in history in the process. “I’m not exactly sure when I met him for the first time – maybe when he was in the Rookies – but I started to get to know him in 2009 which was his first year in the world championship,” Ajo says, furrowing his brow and trying to recollect. “In 2010 we had a few more conversations and he joined our team for 2011 and that was his best season until that point. I think that Johann has changed a lot from these times. He was young, shy, a small boy that didn’t know his capabilities and what he could really do.” Aki Ajo (FIN) Barcelona (ESP) 2018 © Sebas Romero Already at this time Zarco was adhering and depending on the counsel and advice of another former rider: Laurent Fellon. His countryman remains his manager and aide until this day. “Laurent was his coach but also like part of the family,” explains Aki. “He was very important for him and at the start of his career was very strict and strong and very ordered … but I think that was good for Johann. 2011 had its ups-and-downs but still good performances and it wasn’t always an easy year. We started to respect each other and both he and Laurent were making comments like ‘we’ll be back with you soon … ’.” Zarco, eager to expand his experience and knowledge left the confines of the Ajo team for Moto2 and gained six podium results in two years and through a slightly unstable period. His old team manager meanwhile had allied with KTM for 2012 and didn’t look back. In fact, Ajo’s success in Moto3 only fueled his ambition … and made a pathway back to Zarco. “My decision to go to Moto2 was made very quickly,” he recounts. “I did it on the spur of the moment before the Grand Prix in Silverstone in 2014. I asked IRTA and Dorna if a slot was possible and then my next call was to Johann and I half-joked that he’d be our first Moto2 rider the following year but he and Laurent were immediately ready and just after Silverstone – so only a few days – we had already shaken hands. I have to respect and be thankful to them because they were flexible and appreciated the situation that I was building the team quickly and with minimal parts. They were fully behind it and tried to help find some support and money for the team. He was almost riding without salary but he really wanted to win. His reaction convinced me that I really needed to push ahead in Moto2 and it was much better working together the second time.” “2015 and 2016 were excellent years and I will never forget them,” Ajo admits. “Johann didn’t have a KTM contract at that time but it was like he was already in the KTM family because we had the Red Bull KTM team in Moto3 and the Moto2 was supported by KTM. Mr Pierer and Pit Beirer said to me ‘Aki, you are a little bit crazy to do this so quickly but we’d like to support you’ and I think they trusted that Moto2 could be something good. 2019 is definitely not the first time that Johann has been in co-operation with KTM.” Johann Zarco (FRA) Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007 © KTM Those two years (before Zarco hungered for a MotoGPTM debut in 2017) produced a windfall. The WP Suspension-shod Kalex gave the Cannes born athlete an invaluable education in tire preservation (Moto2 use Dunlop control rubber compared to Michelin in MotoGPTM) and race management. He totaled 24 podiums, 15 of those on the top step of the box. The potential – that Ajo claims was evident from his first appearances in leathers – had been realized in the intermediate category and those lessons would serve well for a studious, smooth and rapier-effective launch into the premier class. “From the Rookies Cup you could see he had talent but later he had some difficult times,” Ajo says. “He and Laurent were very clear about how they should do things and nobody really stopped them. They are so strong … but maybe their style did not fit with all the teams and people they encountered. Especially in the beginning … but now they have much more experience. They had difficulties but they kept pushing all the time and now you can see where they are.” Zarco immediately turned heads by leading his very first MotoGPTM race in Qatar 2017. He went on to become a protagonist in the division, a front-row regular, usurper of factory-equipped rivals and Rookie of the Year with three podiums; a tally he has almost bested already ahead of his home Grand Prix at Le Mans. Was Ajo caught off-guard by the speed of his acclimatization to a world of horsepower, electronics and setup work? “I was, I have to say,” he smiles. “I was surprised by how he learned everything so quickly. He also surprised others who said ‘he’s a bit too old’ or ‘he’s been in Moto2 too long’. I was thinking ‘just wait … ’. I have to be honest I didn’t think it would be so quick.” Johann is an unassuming, low-key and relatively humble ‘star’. He almost doesn’t seem like a MotoGPTM hero. “Yes, that’s true, but in a positive way,” Ajo observes. “He doesn’t seem like a superstar. He is not going crazy and doesn’t focus on things that he thinks are unimportant … like sometimes people do! In terms of his personality he is still the same Johann and he was sitting where you are now for a long time yesterday just talking. I don’t see any change. He is very analytical and focused on racing.” Johann Zarco (FRA) Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007 © KTM Perhaps there are parallels between the two. Asked if he feels like he has played a pivotal role in establishing and helping KTM grow in the Grand Prix paddock Ajo waves his hands. “Nooooo! I cannot say that. I feel lucky. In 2010 and I heard some rumors that KTM were coming to Moto3; I contacted Heinz Kinigadner and Pit Beirer and said I’d like to have a meeting. They were really open and interested to make a collaboration with us. I was really happy about this and thankful it has been so many years already. At the time we already had a partnership with Red Bull – from 2010 – and that helped and it became KTM in 2012. It was a great start and very important for myself, my company and all of us. I’m thankful for that.” Ajo and Zarco might share humility … but also a thirst for detail that lead to success. Zarco’s signature was sought-after by many but secured and stamped in Munderfing. It is something of a coup for a team that have been on the MotoGPTM grid for just eighteen months but have already tasted GP points, the top ten and have moved through three engine concepts. Aside from publicity will Zarco’s working method and philosophy be a distinct gain for KTM’s objectives? Ajo is resolute. “Absolutely,” he says. “It is also a useful move for the whole KTM family because when a rider like Johann sees potential is there then it opens a lot of eyes as to what KTM are doing. He has placed his trust and his experience in the company, and his systematic working style is important for that type of project to both develop and also ‘prove’ things are going in the right direction.” For all the talk of development and refinement of the KTM RC16, Motorsport Director Pit Beirer enforced the point that it is “the rider that has to open the throttle” in discussions with the press in Jerez. There is a feeling that KTM have exactly the personnel needed to make the next chop into the lap-times to reach the front. Aki Ajo (FIN) & Pit Beirer (GER) Sachsenring (GER) 2017 © Philip Platzer Photos: Sebas Romero | Philip Platzer | KTM
  6. Interview of the Month: The Zarco Effect – What will KTM gain for MotoGP™ in 2019 …? Posted in People, Racing Red Bull KTM’s confirmation of a two-year contract with French ace Johann Zarco is one of the headline-grabbers of the MotoGPTM season so far. What can the works team expect once the #5 becomes orange? To gain some insight into the 28-year-old athlete we asked one of the people that knows him best; Aki Ajo. The quiet Finn sits in his bare and immaculate race truck office in the Jerez MotoGPTM paddock. The subject of Johann Zarco is an easy one for the former racer to talk about. Ajo has strong and well-nurtured links with KTM and is responsible for the company’s first Moto3 crown in 2012 and continues to marshal the KTM RC 250 GP as well as the official Moto2 squad to this day. Ajo also has intimate knowledge of Zarco, his character and also his development in Grand Prix. He signed a young Johann (the first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup champ in 2007) for his 125cc squad in 2011 and helped him classify second in the world championship in just his third term. Three years later and they collaborated again in Moto2 and claimed two titles; Zarco becoming the most successful French rider in history in the process. “I’m not exactly sure when I met him for the first time – maybe when he was in the Rookies – but I started to get to know him in 2009 which was his first year in the world championship,” Ajo says, furrowing his brow and trying to recollect. “In 2010 we had a few more conversations and he joined our team for 2011 and that was his best season until that point. I think that Johann has changed a lot from these times. He was young, shy, a small boy that didn’t know his capabilities and what he could really do.” Aki Ajo (FIN) Barcelona (ESP) 2018 © Sebas Romero Already at this time Zarco was adhering and depending on the counsel and advice of another former rider: Laurent Fellon. His countryman remains his manager and aide until this day. “Laurent was his coach but also like part of the family,” explains Aki. “He was very important for him and at the start of his career was very strict and strong and very ordered … but I think that was good for Johann. 2011 had its ups-and-downs but still good performances and it wasn’t always an easy year. We started to respect each other and both he and Laurent were making comments like ‘we’ll be back with you soon … ’.” Zarco, eager to expand his experience and knowledge left the confines of the Ajo team for Moto2 and gained six podium results in two years and through a slightly unstable period. His old team manager meanwhile had allied with KTM for 2012 and didn’t look back. In fact, Ajo’s success in Moto3 only fueled his ambition … and made a pathway back to Zarco. “My decision to go to Moto2 was made very quickly,” he recounts. “I did it on the spur of the moment before the Grand Prix in Silverstone in 2014. I asked IRTA and Dorna if a slot was possible and then my next call was to Johann and I half-joked that he’d be our first Moto2 rider the following year but he and Laurent were immediately ready and just after Silverstone – so only a few days – we had already shaken hands. I have to respect and be thankful to them because they were flexible and appreciated the situation that I was building the team quickly and with minimal parts. They were fully behind it and tried to help find some support and money for the team. He was almost riding without salary but he really wanted to win. His reaction convinced me that I really needed to push ahead in Moto2 and it was much better working together the second time.” “2015 and 2016 were excellent years and I will never forget them,” Ajo admits. “Johann didn’t have a KTM contract at that time but it was like he was already in the KTM family because we had the Red Bull KTM team in Moto3 and the Moto2 was supported by KTM. Mr Pierer and Pit Beirer said to me ‘Aki, you are a little bit crazy to do this so quickly but we’d like to support you’ and I think they trusted that Moto2 could be something good. 2019 is definitely not the first time that Johann has been in co-operation with KTM.” Johann Zarco (FRA) Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007 © KTM Those two years (before Zarco hungered for a MotoGPTM debut in 2017) produced a windfall. The WP Suspension-shod Kalex gave the Cannes born athlete an invaluable education in tire preservation (Moto2 use Dunlop control rubber compared to Michelin in MotoGPTM) and race management. He totaled 24 podiums, 15 of those on the top step of the box. The potential – that Ajo claims was evident from his first appearances in leathers – had been realized in the intermediate category and those lessons would serve well for a studious, smooth and rapier-effective launch into the premier class. “From the Rookies Cup you could see he had talent but later he had some difficult times,” Ajo says. “He and Laurent were very clear about how they should do things and nobody really stopped them. They are so strong … but maybe their style did not fit with all the teams and people they encountered. Especially in the beginning … but now they have much more experience. They had difficulties but they kept pushing all the time and now you can see where they are.” Zarco immediately turned heads by leading his very first MotoGPTM race in Qatar 2017. He went on to become a protagonist in the division, a front-row regular, usurper of factory-equipped rivals and Rookie of the Year with three podiums; a tally he has almost bested already ahead of his home Grand Prix at Le Mans. Was Ajo caught off-guard by the speed of his acclimatization to a world of horsepower, electronics and setup work? “I was, I have to say,” he smiles. “I was surprised by how he learned everything so quickly. He also surprised others who said ‘he’s a bit too old’ or ‘he’s been in Moto2 too long’. I was thinking ‘just wait … ’. I have to be honest I didn’t think it would be so quick.” Johann is an unassuming, low-key and relatively humble ‘star’. He almost doesn’t seem like a MotoGPTM hero. “Yes, that’s true, but in a positive way,” Ajo observes. “He doesn’t seem like a superstar. He is not going crazy and doesn’t focus on things that he thinks are unimportant … like sometimes people do! In terms of his personality he is still the same Johann and he was sitting where you are now for a long time yesterday just talking. I don’t see any change. He is very analytical and focused on racing.” Johann Zarco (FRA) Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007 © KTM Perhaps there are parallels between the two. Asked if he feels like he has played a pivotal role in establishing and helping KTM grow in the Grand Prix paddock Ajo waves his hands. “Nooooo! I cannot say that. I feel lucky. In 2010 and I heard some rumors that KTM were coming to Moto3; I contacted Heinz Kinigadner and Pit Beirer and said I’d like to have a meeting. They were really open and interested to make a collaboration with us. I was really happy about this and thankful it has been so many years already. At the time we already had a partnership with Red Bull – from 2010 – and that helped and it became KTM in 2012. It was a great start and very important for myself, my company and all of us. I’m thankful for that.” Ajo and Zarco might share humility … but also a thirst for detail that lead to success. Zarco’s signature was sought-after by many but secured and stamped in Munderfing. It is something of a coup for a team that have been on the MotoGPTM grid for just eighteen months but have already tasted GP points, the top ten and have moved through three engine concepts. Aside from publicity will Zarco’s working method and philosophy be a distinct gain for KTM’s objectives? Ajo is resolute. “Absolutely,” he says. “It is also a useful move for the whole KTM family because when a rider like Johann sees potential is there then it opens a lot of eyes as to what KTM are doing. He has placed his trust and his experience in the company, and his systematic working style is important for that type of project to both develop and also ‘prove’ things are going in the right direction.” For all the talk of development and refinement of the KTM RC16, Motorsport Director Pit Beirer enforced the point that it is “the rider that has to open the throttle” in discussions with the press in Jerez. There is a feeling that KTM have exactly the personnel needed to make the next chop into the lap-times to reach the front. Aki Ajo (FIN) & Pit Beirer (GER) Sachsenring (GER) 2017 © Philip Platzer Photos: Sebas Romero | Philip Platzer | KTM
  7. The latest KTM EXC models unveiled Posted in Bikes Through forests, up rock faces or in rutty sand the KTM EXC models are the most supreme enduro machines and in their element in challenging terrain. With an exciting two years of revolutionary model introductions behind us, including the launch of the KTM EXC TPI 2-strokes – the world’s very first serial production, offroad competition, fuel-injection 2-stroke machines – the KTM EXC range is refined again for model year 2019. KTM 250 EXC TPI MY2019 © KTM As KTM and enduro enter a new era in competition with the all-new World Enduro Super Series (WESS), the latest offerings from the Austrian manufacturer are celebrated, especially with highlight models such as the KTM 350 EXC-F and the KTM 300 EXC TPI, with all KTM EXC machines receiving various updates. However, for model year 2019 special attention must be given to the KTM 125 XC-W and KTM 150 XC-W 2-strokes, which receive various engine revisions for the latest model year, and are designed for closed-course riding as part of the KTM EXC family. All KTM EXC models enjoy improved WP fork settings, and a reworked WP shock absorber with a re-designed main piston and settings for improved, confidence-inspiring damping characteristics. A new seat cover, stronger battery and new graphics with a READY TO RACE factory-looking orange frame compliment the high-quality Brembo brakes, No-Dirt footpegs, NEKEN handlebar, CNC milled hubs with high-end black Giant rims and more that comes as standard on these championship winning machines. The KTM BLOG takes a look at the images of the new bikes, which will be arriving in dealers soon. KTM 300 EXC TPI SIX DAYS MY2019 © KTM Photos: KTM
  8. The latest KTM EXC models unveiled

    The latest KTM EXC models unveiled Posted in Bikes Through forests, up rock faces or in rutty sand the KTM EXC models are the most supreme enduro machines and in their element in challenging terrain. With an exciting two years of revolutionary model introductions behind us, including the launch of the KTM EXC TPI 2-strokes – the world’s very first serial production, offroad competition, fuel-injection 2-stroke machines – the KTM EXC range is refined again for model year 2019. KTM 250 EXC TPI MY2019 © KTM As KTM and enduro enter a new era in competition with the all-new World Enduro Super Series (WESS), the latest offerings from the Austrian manufacturer are celebrated, especially with highlight models such as the KTM 350 EXC-F and the KTM 300 EXC TPI, with all KTM EXC machines receiving various updates. However, for model year 2019 special attention must be given to the KTM 125 XC-W and KTM 150 XC-W 2-strokes, which receive various engine revisions for the latest model year, and are designed for closed-course riding as part of the KTM EXC family. All KTM EXC models enjoy improved WP fork settings, and a reworked WP shock absorber with a re-designed main piston and settings for improved, confidence-inspiring damping characteristics. A new seat cover, stronger battery and new graphics with a READY TO RACE factory-looking orange frame compliment the high-quality Brembo brakes, No-Dirt footpegs, NEKEN handlebar, CNC milled hubs with high-end black Giant rims and more that comes as standard on these championship winning machines. The KTM BLOG takes a look at the images of the new bikes, which will be arriving in dealers soon. KTM 300 EXC TPI SIX DAYS MY2019 © KTM Photos: KTM
  9. #222 on the 222! A MXGP journey … Posted in People, Racing MXGP World Champion Tony Cairoli will reach a career total of 222 Grand Prix appearances the next time the Sicilian wheels out his #222 KTM 450 SX-F at Kegums in Latvia this weekend. After fifteen seasons in the FIM Motocross World Championship, nine titles and an incredible career we asked TC222 for some of the highlights. Tony Cairoli (ITA) Orlyonok (RUS) 2018 © Ray Archer The Grand Prix with the most beautiful setting … “We first raced at Arco di Trento with MXGP in 2013. We go to some strange places with the world championship and they can feel very different but I still think Arco is one of the most amazing with that mountain background and being close to the lakes. Being in Italy the GP brings a little extra pressure but every time we arrive at that circuit it is hard not to admire it.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Arco di Trento (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix track that sticks in the mind as one of the hardest physically and technically … “Easy: Lommel [Grand Prix of Belgium]. It can get so rough and so difficult. I must have done thousands of laps at that place. It is the toughest track in the world. But I love it.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Lommel (BEL) 2017 © Ray Archer Celebrating titles in a number of countries – Brazil, Ireland and the Netherlands – is cool but nowhere beats home … “Winning your first title is always special, so doing it in the Netherlands in 2005 was magical but winning in front of your home crowd is amazing. Faenza in Italy in 2012 was the country and the place that immediately stands out for me. The emotion is always strong when you know you have that red plate for the year and can turn it into gold!” Tony Cairoli (ITA) Faenza (ITA) 2012 © KTM A Grand Prix where I’ve had most fun … “Hard one but I’ll say Beto Carrero [Grand Prix of Brazil in 2012-14]. It was right by the sea and part of an amusement park. The grandstands were always packed and the track was fun to ride. It was always a nice trip there and a nice and cool place to have a race.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Beto Carrero (BRA) 2014 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix I’ve never liked … “I’ll say Loket [Czech Republic], more for the track, which is always hard and slippery. I’ve had some success there both in MXGP and MX2 but also some tough races and not the most enjoyable.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Loket (CZE) 2017 © Ray Archer A favorite country for racing … “Of course, I’ll say Italy! And we’re having quite a few GPs over the years and in some very different places like Maggiora, Ottobiano, Arco … Imola this year should be interesting. We go to many countries and, like I said, you get a different flavor in each one but I have to mention Argentina and Brazil for the amazing fans and the atmosphere you feel there.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) Arco die Trento (ITA) 2017 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix that saw the very best of Tony Cairoli … “Again difficult! There tends to be one race that stands out each season where you think ‘I was good that day … ’ but the one that comes to mind straightaway is Arco in 2017 where I managed to come back to second place after a crash on the first corner. It felt really good to win the Grand Prix after that ride.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Arco die Trento (ITA) 2017 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix to forget … “Oh, Sweden in 2012 where I had two DNFs; one because I had a stone caught in the rear brake and another from running into the mud and getting stuck. I went to Uddevalla leading the championship and left Sunday night without the red plate! It was almost unbelievable and so bad it was almost amusing. There is a nice end to that story though because I won the next six Grands Prix after that disaster to get the championship.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Uddevalla (SWE) 2012 © Ray Archer A lesson learned from 222 Grands Prix … “Something that I quickly realized at this level and I came to believe in it so much that I had a tattoo made: ‘Disce pati si vincere voles’. A translation in English would be ‘learn to suffer if you want to win’ and it’s worked out pretty well for me.” KTM 450 SX-F Redsand (ESP) 2018 © Ray Archer Photos: KTM | Ray Archer
  10. #222 on the 222! A MXGP journey …

    #222 on the 222! A MXGP journey … Posted in People, Racing MXGP World Champion Tony Cairoli will reach a career total of 222 Grand Prix appearances the next time the Sicilian wheels out his #222 KTM 450 SX-F at Kegums in Latvia this weekend. After fifteen seasons in the FIM Motocross World Championship, nine titles and an incredible career we asked TC222 for some of the highlights. Tony Cairoli (ITA) Orlyonok (RUS) 2018 © Ray Archer The Grand Prix with the most beautiful setting … “We first raced at Arco di Trento with MXGP in 2013. We go to some strange places with the world championship and they can feel very different but I still think Arco is one of the most amazing with that mountain background and being close to the lakes. Being in Italy the GP brings a little extra pressure but every time we arrive at that circuit it is hard not to admire it.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Arco di Trento (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix track that sticks in the mind as one of the hardest physically and technically … “Easy: Lommel [Grand Prix of Belgium]. It can get so rough and so difficult. I must have done thousands of laps at that place. It is the toughest track in the world. But I love it.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Lommel (BEL) 2017 © Ray Archer Celebrating titles in a number of countries – Brazil, Ireland and the Netherlands – is cool but nowhere beats home … “Winning your first title is always special, so doing it in the Netherlands in 2005 was magical but winning in front of your home crowd is amazing. Faenza in Italy in 2012 was the country and the place that immediately stands out for me. The emotion is always strong when you know you have that red plate for the year and can turn it into gold!” Tony Cairoli (ITA) Faenza (ITA) 2012 © KTM A Grand Prix where I’ve had most fun … “Hard one but I’ll say Beto Carrero [Grand Prix of Brazil in 2012-14]. It was right by the sea and part of an amusement park. The grandstands were always packed and the track was fun to ride. It was always a nice trip there and a nice and cool place to have a race.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Beto Carrero (BRA) 2014 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix I’ve never liked … “I’ll say Loket [Czech Republic], more for the track, which is always hard and slippery. I’ve had some success there both in MXGP and MX2 but also some tough races and not the most enjoyable.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Loket (CZE) 2017 © Ray Archer A favorite country for racing … “Of course, I’ll say Italy! And we’re having quite a few GPs over the years and in some very different places like Maggiora, Ottobiano, Arco … Imola this year should be interesting. We go to many countries and, like I said, you get a different flavor in each one but I have to mention Argentina and Brazil for the amazing fans and the atmosphere you feel there.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) Arco die Trento (ITA) 2017 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix that saw the very best of Tony Cairoli … “Again difficult! There tends to be one race that stands out each season where you think ‘I was good that day … ’ but the one that comes to mind straightaway is Arco in 2017 where I managed to come back to second place after a crash on the first corner. It felt really good to win the Grand Prix after that ride.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Arco die Trento (ITA) 2017 © Ray Archer A Grand Prix to forget … “Oh, Sweden in 2012 where I had two DNFs; one because I had a stone caught in the rear brake and another from running into the mud and getting stuck. I went to Uddevalla leading the championship and left Sunday night without the red plate! It was almost unbelievable and so bad it was almost amusing. There is a nice end to that story though because I won the next six Grands Prix after that disaster to get the championship.” Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F Uddevalla (SWE) 2012 © Ray Archer A lesson learned from 222 Grands Prix … “Something that I quickly realized at this level and I came to believe in it so much that I had a tattoo made: ‘Disce pati si vincere voles’. A translation in English would be ‘learn to suffer if you want to win’ and it’s worked out pretty well for me.” KTM 450 SX-F Redsand (ESP) 2018 © Ray Archer Photos: KTM | Ray Archer
  11. ktm KTM FAN PACKAGE 2018

    KTM FAN PACKAGE 2018 Posted in Lifestyle, Racing Back in March, the start of MotoGPTM signaled a new, exciting season of Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGPTM racing action: KTM is READY TO RACE in all classes. Just like in previous years, the best riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing are, once again, demonstrating motorsport at its finest, providing some truly breathtaking viewing over a total of 19 races. With the KTM FAN PACKAGE, the Austrian manufacturer is offering all enthusiasts the opportunity to watch the premier class of motorcycling live in action at selected European races. READY TO RACE is more than a slogan at KTM; it’s a way of life. It’s therefore no surprise that KTM is rising to the challenge in all three classes of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. After a strong Moto3 season in 2017, KTM has really upped its game for 2018 in the smallest class, hoping to improve on its successes from previous years. In Moto2, the chassis developed in collaboration with WP exceeded all expectations in its debut season, especially towards the end of the year, and has already managed to secure its first podium places in 2018. The Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team, featuring factory riders Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith, has been creating a buzz by exceeding all expectations with the KTM RC16, securing good qualifying results in their first MotoGPTM season, as well as regular top ten results and World Championship points. Standings in the points table at the start of the season mean that it’s already looking good for a successful second season for the KTM works team. The KTM FAN PACKAGE includes admission and other exclusive goodies, and is available for the following Grand Prix races: Mugello (ITA), June 1 to June 3, 2018, KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Assen (NED), June 29 to July 1, 2018, KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Sachsenring (GER), July 13 to July 15, 2018, KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Red Bull Ring (AUT), August 10 to August 12, 2018 (KTM YOUTH PACKAGE available), KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Further information and details about the KTM FAN PACKAGES are available here. [embedded content] Photo: KTM Video: Illuminati Productions
  12. KTM FAN PACKAGE 2018

    KTM FAN PACKAGE 2018 Posted in Lifestyle, Racing Back in March, the start of MotoGPTM signaled a new, exciting season of Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGPTM racing action: KTM is READY TO RACE in all classes. Just like in previous years, the best riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing are, once again, demonstrating motorsport at its finest, providing some truly breathtaking viewing over a total of 19 races. With the KTM FAN PACKAGE, the Austrian manufacturer is offering all enthusiasts the opportunity to watch the premier class of motorcycling live in action at selected European races. READY TO RACE is more than a slogan at KTM; it’s a way of life. It’s therefore no surprise that KTM is rising to the challenge in all three classes of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. After a strong Moto3 season in 2017, KTM has really upped its game for 2018 in the smallest class, hoping to improve on its successes from previous years. In Moto2, the chassis developed in collaboration with WP exceeded all expectations in its debut season, especially towards the end of the year, and has already managed to secure its first podium places in 2018. The Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team, featuring factory riders Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith, has been creating a buzz by exceeding all expectations with the KTM RC16, securing good qualifying results in their first MotoGPTM season, as well as regular top ten results and World Championship points. Standings in the points table at the start of the season mean that it’s already looking good for a successful second season for the KTM works team. The KTM FAN PACKAGE includes admission and other exclusive goodies, and is available for the following Grand Prix races: Mugello (ITA), June 1 to June 3, 2018, KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Assen (NED), June 29 to July 1, 2018, KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Sachsenring (GER), July 13 to July 15, 2018, KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Red Bull Ring (AUT), August 10 to August 12, 2018 (KTM YOUTH PACKAGE available), KTM FAN PACKAGES are available from KTM dealers or through our ticket partner, Global-Tickets Further information and details about the KTM FAN PACKAGES are available here. [embedded content] Photo: KTM Video: Illuminati Productions
  13. A new challenge – Josep Garcia prepares for the World Enduro Super Series It only seems like yesterday that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia was crowned Enduro2 World Champion. But with KTM turning their attentions to the newly formed World Enduro Super Series, the young Spaniard is busy preparing for an altogether new challenge in 2018. Josep’s speed on two-wheels is unquestionable. With his whole family riding bikes, the 21-year-old jokes that ‘fuel is in my blood’. Growing up racing motocross, he even spent a season road-racing in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup before settling on enduro. Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Josep has won several Spanish championships before claiming his first world title in 2017. A new challenge now faces the fun-loving Spaniard, with the inaugural World Enduro Super Series kicking off with round one – Extreme XL Lagares – on May 11. A seven-race series, the WESS is made up of Hard Enduro, Classic Enduro, Cross-country and Beach Races. The KTM BLOG caught up with Josep to find out how he’s approaching his latest adventure. We’re only a couple of weeks away from the first round of the World Enduro Super Series now, how are you feeling going into Extreme XL Lagares? “I am feeling really good, I have been doing a lot of training for the WESS, especially on the KTM 300 EXC TPI, which I am really enjoying. I’m not sure how the race will go, but I’m ready to fight!” With so many different types of events, the WESS is going to be very different to the EnduroGP championship, how have you altered your training to prepare for the series? “Over the winter I have been concentrating on the extreme riding. I know my pace on the Classic Enduros will be fine but improving my speed on the more technical terrain has been my priority up to now. As the season goes on, the whole team will look at the calendar and prepare specifically for the next round as there are so many different styles of event – even the Hard Enduros are unique. I’ll keep riding the KTM 250 EXC-F 4-stroke throughout the year too as I will also be riding the Spanish Enduro Championship. I want to keep a good feeling on the bike.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin You entered the Bassella Race 1 Xtreme back in February and came fifth, just a few minutes from the win and beating some of the Hard Enduro regulars in the process. How did you find the event and did it help to prepare you for the WESS season ahead? “Bassella was the first race I did on the KTM 300 EXC TPI and it was really good training for the Hard Enduros in the WESS. We did the race using a GPS as well and I enjoyed that a lot, especially as it was good practice for Red Bull Romaniacs at the end of July. I started really well in the race and even passed Alfredo, then as we were coming onto the faster section I hit a rock and broke my rear brake lever. After that I didn’t want to push too hard and risk crashing so I eased off a bit. I was so happy with the result though and it shows my training is working.“ So, the KTM 300 EXC TPI 2-stroke for the Hard Enduros, the KTM 250 EXC-F 4-stroke for the Classic Enduros, what about the Red Bull Knock Out Beach Race at the end of the year, do you fancy having a go on a KTM 450 SX-F? “The team and I haven’t really discussed that yet, so I am not sure whether to go for the KTM 350 SX-F or KTM 450 SX-F. One of the most important things in the sand is rider fitness, the start is also important – you have to get away at the front. I am not too heavy so maybe the KTM 350 SX-F will be enough, we will have to do some testing nearer the event.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Your speed and motocross skills could come in very handy there. “Yes, I like motocross tests, but Red Bull Knock Out is something different. It is all held in deep sand and it makes things very tough. I think Nathan Watson will do very well there and I will certainly need to train before the race to get used to it. We don’t have that much deep sand in Catalonia where I live so I think I will go to test in France to train in the sand.” The KTM Enduro Factory Racing Team is now five-strong. You know Nathan from your time in EnduroGP, how well do you get along with the others in the group? “I think we have a really good team, Nathan is great but also Taddy, Jonny and Cody are all really nice people – we have a lot of fun when we train together. Already we have built up a good relationship within the group and I think we’ll enjoy the season working and travelling together.” Nathan Watson (GBR), Jonny Walker (GBR) & Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Have you been able to learn anything from the other members of the team, they all have strengths in different areas? “Yeah for sure. When I go training with the extreme riders I always take a lot of care to see how they approach different obstacles. I have learnt so much already but there are still areas where I can improve. Even between Taddy, Jonny and Cody, they all have different techniques. Taddy really attacks things, Cody is very tall so his style is different. Jonny is a mixture of the two, he has some really good pace in the fast stuff but is also very good at the slower technical riding.” As Enduro2 World Champion you know your speed is good on the Classic Enduros but which events are you actually looking forward to the most, perhaps something you haven’t tried before? “I am looking forward to the extreme races, initially because I want to see where my level is compared to the Hard Enduro experts. I can’t wait to go to Erzberg, not just because of the race but because of the whole event – there are so many fans there and it looks like a really good event. Of course, I am still looking forward to Le Trefle because I like riding the grass test and I hope it will be one of my strongest events.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin What about the Gotland Grand National, a cross-country race that normally ends up being extremely muddy, are you looking forward to giving that one a go? “Oh yeah! Gotland will be very interesting, not just for the muddy sections but for the 1000s of people who race there – it will certainly be an amazing experience. Again, we’ll have to do some specialist training before that event.” Finally, with the points system in the WESS rewarding consistency throughout the series, will you approach the championship differently to EnduroGP for example? A DNF at the WESS could mean the end to your campaign. “I have always said that the guy who wins the WESS will be the guy who finishes all the races. He may not even win any of the events but yes, it is important to perform well. Maybe even fourth, fifth or sixth will be enough as long as you take points in every race. Hopefully with some top results in the races where I am strong and some good finishes in the others, I will be in with a shot at the title.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin The World Enduro Super Series begins with the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal from May 11 to 13. Photos: Marcin Kin
  14. A new challenge – Josep Garcia prepares for the World Enduro Super Series It only seems like yesterday that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia was crowned Enduro2 World Champion. But with KTM turning their attentions to the newly formed World Enduro Super Series, the young Spaniard is busy preparing for an altogether new challenge in 2018. Josep’s speed on two-wheels is unquestionable. With his whole family riding bikes, the 21-year-old jokes that ‘fuel is in my blood’. Growing up racing motocross, he even spent a season road-racing in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup before settling on enduro. Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Josep has won several Spanish championships before claiming his first world title in 2017. A new challenge now faces the fun-loving Spaniard, with the inaugural World Enduro Super Series kicking off with round one – Extreme XL Lagares – on May 11. A seven-race series, the WESS is made up of Hard Enduro, Classic Enduro, Cross-country and Beach Races. The KTM BLOG caught up with Josep to find out how he’s approaching his latest adventure. We’re only a couple of weeks away from the first round of the World Enduro Super Series now, how are you feeling going into Extreme XL Lagares? “I am feeling really good, I have been doing a lot of training for the WESS, especially on the KTM 300 EXC TPI, which I am really enjoying. I’m not sure how the race will go, but I’m ready to fight!” With so many different types of events, the WESS is going to be very different to the EnduroGP championship, how have you altered your training to prepare for the series? “Over the winter I have been concentrating on the extreme riding. I know my pace on the Classic Enduros will be fine but improving my speed on the more technical terrain has been my priority up to now. As the season goes on, the whole team will look at the calendar and prepare specifically for the next round as there are so many different styles of event – even the Hard Enduros are unique. I’ll keep riding the KTM 250 EXC-F 4-stroke throughout the year too as I will also be riding the Spanish Enduro Championship. I want to keep a good feeling on the bike.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin You entered the Bassella Race 1 Xtreme back in February and came fifth, just a few minutes from the win and beating some of the Hard Enduro regulars in the process. How did you find the event and did it help to prepare you for the WESS season ahead? “Bassella was the first race I did on the KTM 300 EXC TPI and it was really good training for the Hard Enduros in the WESS. We did the race using a GPS as well and I enjoyed that a lot, especially as it was good practice for Red Bull Romaniacs at the end of July. I started really well in the race and even passed Alfredo, then as we were coming onto the faster section I hit a rock and broke my rear brake lever. After that I didn’t want to push too hard and risk crashing so I eased off a bit. I was so happy with the result though and it shows my training is working.“ So, the KTM 300 EXC TPI 2-stroke for the Hard Enduros, the KTM 250 EXC-F 4-stroke for the Classic Enduros, what about the Red Bull Knock Out Beach Race at the end of the year, do you fancy having a go on a KTM 450 SX-F? “The team and I haven’t really discussed that yet, so I am not sure whether to go for the KTM 350 SX-F or KTM 450 SX-F. One of the most important things in the sand is rider fitness, the start is also important – you have to get away at the front. I am not too heavy so maybe the KTM 350 SX-F will be enough, we will have to do some testing nearer the event.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Your speed and motocross skills could come in very handy there. “Yes, I like motocross tests, but Red Bull Knock Out is something different. It is all held in deep sand and it makes things very tough. I think Nathan Watson will do very well there and I will certainly need to train before the race to get used to it. We don’t have that much deep sand in Catalonia where I live so I think I will go to test in France to train in the sand.” The KTM Enduro Factory Racing Team is now five-strong. You know Nathan from your time in EnduroGP, how well do you get along with the others in the group? “I think we have a really good team, Nathan is great but also Taddy, Jonny and Cody are all really nice people – we have a lot of fun when we train together. Already we have built up a good relationship within the group and I think we’ll enjoy the season working and travelling together.” Nathan Watson (GBR), Jonny Walker (GBR) & Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Have you been able to learn anything from the other members of the team, they all have strengths in different areas? “Yeah for sure. When I go training with the extreme riders I always take a lot of care to see how they approach different obstacles. I have learnt so much already but there are still areas where I can improve. Even between Taddy, Jonny and Cody, they all have different techniques. Taddy really attacks things, Cody is very tall so his style is different. Jonny is a mixture of the two, he has some really good pace in the fast stuff but is also very good at the slower technical riding.” As Enduro2 World Champion you know your speed is good on the Classic Enduros but which events are you actually looking forward to the most, perhaps something you haven’t tried before? “I am looking forward to the extreme races, initially because I want to see where my level is compared to the Hard Enduro experts. I can’t wait to go to Erzberg, not just because of the race but because of the whole event – there are so many fans there and it looks like a really good event. Of course, I am still looking forward to Le Trefle because I like riding the grass test and I hope it will be one of my strongest events.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin What about the Gotland Grand National, a cross-country race that normally ends up being extremely muddy, are you looking forward to giving that one a go? “Oh yeah! Gotland will be very interesting, not just for the muddy sections but for the 1000s of people who race there – it will certainly be an amazing experience. Again, we’ll have to do some specialist training before that event.” Finally, with the points system in the WESS rewarding consistency throughout the series, will you approach the championship differently to EnduroGP for example? A DNF at the WESS could mean the end to your campaign. “I have always said that the guy who wins the WESS will be the guy who finishes all the races. He may not even win any of the events but yes, it is important to perform well. Maybe even fourth, fifth or sixth will be enough as long as you take points in every race. Hopefully with some top results in the races where I am strong and some good finishes in the others, I will be in with a shot at the title.” Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin The World Enduro Super Series begins with the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal from May 11 to 13. Photos: Marcin Kin
  15. 5 things you might not have known about tires & MXGP Posted in Bikes, Racing Italian brand Pirelli is dominant in the FIM Motocross World Championship with almost 70 titles in all categories. How and why are they so successful and what goes into their MXGP program? We asked the official supplier to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team … KTM 450 SX-F 2018 © Ray Archer 1. Yes, tires are still important in motocross Pirelli’s MX Race Service Manager, Roberto Pasquale Sanzone, has been working for the company for twenty years and through various racing disciplines in both cars and bikes. For the last five he has been in charge of motocross and has headed the introduction of the new ‘MX Soft’ product into MXGP; seemingly the tire of choice for most of the Red Bull KTM crew. The Austrian factory team is a high-profile sect of the twenty riders Pirelli have in the FIM Motocross World Championship and thanks to this alliance have banked a wealth of victories, podiums and titles since the beginning of the decade. In MotoGPTM Michelin’s efforts form the foundation of every single Grand Prix. The performance of the slick or rain tires is crucial to the sport and even the integrity of the series: in more ways than one the tires are the ‘root’ of the racing. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, #259), Tony Cairoli (ITA, #222) & Jeffrey Herlings (NED, #84) Trentino (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer The diversity of terrain and the climate conditions on any given day in MXGP means that grip and traction is paramount but scrutiny of the rubber is not so pronounced. While road racing requires compounds that will function under severe temperatures, weight and abrasion – a terrific amount of force – motocross is almost the same but in a different way: the unrelenting rough ground, the energy on the tread pattern and the hard landings from big jumps. Not to mention necessary efficiency in arguably the most important element of a Grand Prix moto; the start from the metal gate grill. “The start is the main point in this championship and for the last two years when we have been using the metal grid,” says Pasquale. “Grip and traction is obviously something that every rider wants and we work towards. A strong point for Pirelli in this series is in having all those official riders and we can learn from every single guy. We can get a good average feeling for what a rider and racer will need.” Agueda (POR) 2018 © Ray Archer Pirelli and other brands like Dunlop use MXGP extensively as a test-bed for their products. Grand Prix can visit a sandy circuit one week, hard-pack the next, heavy mud and dusty and stony surfaces. The likes of Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings are also pushing their technical packages to the max. “We listen to all the feedback but finally we also look at the race tire choice,” comments Pasquale. “If the top riders are using the same tire every race and they are winning, setting the best lap-time and taking holeshots then we know that tire can perform! Sometimes the fastest rider can make a wrong decision but ten others might make the right one.” 2. Pirelli have a busy race service at every Grand Prix The yellow truck is one of the more prominent in the technical supplier section of the paddock. Pirelli’s tire crew is working constantly with teams and mechanics to ensure Grand Prix wheels are correctly fitted and prepped. “We bring about 300-400 tires each race, it depends on the track,” Pasquale says of the racks and racks of black ‘circles’ neatly positioned inside the facility. “We’ll use one race service truck with a crew of 3-4 people. We have to be ready for every possibility and weather condition as well as any rider request, so we bring more or less our whole range.” “The crew works a lot at the circuit,” he adds. “Every rider likes a different setup such as a different mousse or they have a different method to work, like starting a race with a used tire. Some need a new tire with every gatedrop. It depends on the mentality of the rider but in terms of performance a new or used tire is exactly the same. The mousse is a personal choice and it depends on the condition of the track and the weather. Sometimes we use a mousse that you can consider has 0.8 bar of pressure, sometimes the same rider at the same track will want a 1.3, very different. We try to follow every type of request.” The nature of the Grand Prix determines how much of the truck contents are used before heading back to the factory. “It depends,” Pasquale says. “If we come from a sand race where the wear is not so high and go to hard-pack like Arco di Trento that is far tougher on the tires. Sometimes we can use 2-300 per GP.” Agueda (POR) 2018 © Ray Archer 3. Testing doesn’t happen as much as you think Pasquale emphasizes that “development never stops” but when it comes to testing and analyzing new tires very little happens during the races, infrequently during the year and then only when Pirelli are sure they have a concept that will work. “We prefer not to change the tire because of some idea that comes up at the weekend,” Pasquale states. “If there is a theory then we prefer to share and discuss back at the company and workshop and we make a clear decision for everybody. We don’t like to experiment much at the races but when we go testing that is another thing and we can try any kind of specification and can invent something.” One luxury motocross enjoys compared to every other closed-circuit motorcycle sport is the frequency that riders can train and practice with the same machinery. This means that a large chunk of Pirelli’s work and information collection happens away from the pressure and spotlight of a Grand Prix track. Pasquale: “The riders are training almost every day so they can try the tires whenever. So new tires can come around at any time in the year, not necessarily January or December.” For most people a motocross tire will seem and feel very similar. “If you look at the MX mid-soft 32 it looks the same as a tire that has been used for thirty years!”, Pasquale smiles. “But the compound, construction and everything is so different: we are now on a really good level.” This is where the delicate skills and feeling of MXGP professionals comes in handy. “Good sensitivity is not a common trait. From a performance point of view the new MX Soft is not even comparable to the previous tire. We introduced it last year at the Grand Prix of Belgium. Not everybody used it then because it was so new but only after a few weeks and at Assen for the Dutch GP everyone had it.” Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM 250 SX-F Agueda (POR) 2018 © Ray Archer Grand Prix riders: a special breed. Which leads us into … 4. Riders don’t like to embrace too much change Although Pirelli will not swamp a factory rider with a myriad of options – the tire range only has around seven-eight models, some specific to particular terrain – the athletes themselves are not too picky anyway, according to Pasquale. “The riders use the tires and are not too fussy or wasteful. They are professional in this respect and I’m really grateful for that because the level they are pushing is very high and hard.” “We also think a rider doesn’t really want to change something he knows. Occasionally it can be hard for us to convince them to try a new product because they are so familiar with the old … this is something strange in motocross.” Tires might not be as crucial to race setup as say suspension, gearing or engine mapping but it is still an essential component. Therefore, it is normal that a satisfied racer will not seek a change that could swing either way in terms of effectiveness. “They usually stick with the same tires. Of course, there might be one rider in the team who has his own ideas but generally they are consistent. I’m really happy in one way because the KTM guys have really embraced our new products – they have that trust in us – and the MX Soft has been popular. That tire is partially a result of the work we have done with them.” Pirelli’s work is not only carried out with the likes of Cairoli, Herlings, Coldenhoff, Jonass and Prado. “We like to test with all of our riders, sometimes some ‘unofficial’ riders and then also some test riders,” Pasquale reveals. “We use as many types of bike and rider as possible for the test. We don’t want a tire for one specific brand or type of bike.” Pauls Jonass (LAT) KTM 250 SX-F Trentino (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer 5. There is no such thing as a ‘special’ MX tire. You can use the same as the MXGP stars. A works KTM 450 SX-F or KTM 250 SX-F might have unique parts and components that the normal rider or KTM fan will never be able to use or buy. In contrast Pirelli’s ‘universal’ approach to their product means a ‘special’ provision for MXGP riders is highly unusual. They will hardly ever hand-cut a tread for a rider. “We have very few ‘special’ tires but when we do we develop it to a point where it will be in the following year’s range to buy: this is our philosophy,” says Pasquale. “We don’t follow one rider we follow the group. We make a product that many will want to use and will easily suit people.” “Our target is to develop tires that we can sell and not just for racing,” he adds. “Sometimes it is difficult for people to believe the same tire we use in a Grand Prix of the world championship is the same you can buy at a dealer and take home … but it is like this.”  Photos: Ray Archer Video: Luca Piffaretti
  16. 5 things you might not have known about tires & MXGP

    5 things you might not have known about tires & MXGP Posted in Bikes, Racing Italian brand Pirelli is dominant in the FIM Motocross World Championship with almost 70 titles in all categories. How and why are they so successful and what goes into their MXGP program? We asked the official supplier to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team … KTM 450 SX-F 2018 © Ray Archer 1. Yes, tires are still important in motocross Pirelli’s MX Race Service Manager, Roberto Pasquale Sanzone, has been working for the company for twenty years and through various racing disciplines in both cars and bikes. For the last five he has been in charge of motocross and has headed the introduction of the new ‘MX Soft’ product into MXGP; seemingly the tire of choice for most of the Red Bull KTM crew. The Austrian factory team is a high-profile sect of the twenty riders Pirelli have in the FIM Motocross World Championship and thanks to this alliance have banked a wealth of victories, podiums and titles since the beginning of the decade. In MotoGPTM Michelin’s efforts form the foundation of every single Grand Prix. The performance of the slick or rain tires is crucial to the sport and even the integrity of the series: in more ways than one the tires are the ‘root’ of the racing. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, #259), Tony Cairoli (ITA, #222) & Jeffrey Herlings (NED, #84) Trentino (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer The diversity of terrain and the climate conditions on any given day in MXGP means that grip and traction is paramount but scrutiny of the rubber is not so pronounced. While road racing requires compounds that will function under severe temperatures, weight and abrasion – a terrific amount of force – motocross is almost the same but in a different way: the unrelenting rough ground, the energy on the tread pattern and the hard landings from big jumps. Not to mention necessary efficiency in arguably the most important element of a Grand Prix moto; the start from the metal gate grill. “The start is the main point in this championship and for the last two years when we have been using the metal grid,” says Pasquale. “Grip and traction is obviously something that every rider wants and we work towards. A strong point for Pirelli in this series is in having all those official riders and we can learn from every single guy. We can get a good average feeling for what a rider and racer will need.” Agueda (POR) 2018 © Ray Archer Pirelli and other brands like Dunlop use MXGP extensively as a test-bed for their products. Grand Prix can visit a sandy circuit one week, hard-pack the next, heavy mud and dusty and stony surfaces. The likes of Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings are also pushing their technical packages to the max. “We listen to all the feedback but finally we also look at the race tire choice,” comments Pasquale. “If the top riders are using the same tire every race and they are winning, setting the best lap-time and taking holeshots then we know that tire can perform! Sometimes the fastest rider can make a wrong decision but ten others might make the right one.” 2. Pirelli have a busy race service at every Grand Prix The yellow truck is one of the more prominent in the technical supplier section of the paddock. Pirelli’s tire crew is working constantly with teams and mechanics to ensure Grand Prix wheels are correctly fitted and prepped. “We bring about 300-400 tires each race, it depends on the track,” Pasquale says of the racks and racks of black ‘circles’ neatly positioned inside the facility. “We’ll use one race service truck with a crew of 3-4 people. We have to be ready for every possibility and weather condition as well as any rider request, so we bring more or less our whole range.” “The crew works a lot at the circuit,” he adds. “Every rider likes a different setup such as a different mousse or they have a different method to work, like starting a race with a used tire. Some need a new tire with every gatedrop. It depends on the mentality of the rider but in terms of performance a new or used tire is exactly the same. The mousse is a personal choice and it depends on the condition of the track and the weather. Sometimes we use a mousse that you can consider has 0.8 bar of pressure, sometimes the same rider at the same track will want a 1.3, very different. We try to follow every type of request.” The nature of the Grand Prix determines how much of the truck contents are used before heading back to the factory. “It depends,” Pasquale says. “If we come from a sand race where the wear is not so high and go to hard-pack like Arco di Trento that is far tougher on the tires. Sometimes we can use 2-300 per GP.” Agueda (POR) 2018 © Ray Archer 3. Testing doesn’t happen as much as you think Pasquale emphasizes that “development never stops” but when it comes to testing and analyzing new tires very little happens during the races, infrequently during the year and then only when Pirelli are sure they have a concept that will work. “We prefer not to change the tire because of some idea that comes up at the weekend,” Pasquale states. “If there is a theory then we prefer to share and discuss back at the company and workshop and we make a clear decision for everybody. We don’t like to experiment much at the races but when we go testing that is another thing and we can try any kind of specification and can invent something.” One luxury motocross enjoys compared to every other closed-circuit motorcycle sport is the frequency that riders can train and practice with the same machinery. This means that a large chunk of Pirelli’s work and information collection happens away from the pressure and spotlight of a Grand Prix track. Pasquale: “The riders are training almost every day so they can try the tires whenever. So new tires can come around at any time in the year, not necessarily January or December.” For most people a motocross tire will seem and feel very similar. “If you look at the MX mid-soft 32 it looks the same as a tire that has been used for thirty years!” Pasquale smiles. “But the compound, construction and everything is so different: we are now on a really good level.” This is where the delicate skills and feeling of MXGP professionals comes in handy. “Good sensitivity is not a common trait. From a performance point of view the new MX Soft is not even comparable to the previous tire. We introduced it last year at the Grand Prix of Belgium. Not everybody used it then because it was so new but only after a few weeks and at Assen for the Dutch GP everyone had it.” Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM 250 SX-F Agueda (POR) 2018 © Ray Archer Grand Prix riders: a special breed. Which leads us into … 4. Riders don’t like to embrace too much change Although Pirelli will not swamp a factory rider with a myriad of options – the tire range only has around seven-eight models, some specific to particular terrain – the athletes themselves are not too picky anyway, according to Pasquale. “The riders use the tires and are not too fussy or wasteful. They are professional in this respect and I’m really grateful for that because the level they are pushing is very high and hard.” “We also think a rider doesn’t really want to change something he knows. Occasionally it can be hard for us to convince them to try a new product because they are so familiar with the old … this is something strange in motocross.” Tires might not be as crucial to race setup as say suspension, gearing or engine mapping but it is still an essential component. Therefore, it is normal that a satisfied racer will not seek a change that could swing either way in terms of effectiveness. “They usually stick with the same tires. Of course, there might be one rider in the team who has his own ideas but generally they are consistent. I’m really happy in one way because the KTM guys have really embraced our new products – they have that trust in us – and the MX Soft has been popular. That tire is partially a result of the work we have done with them.” Pirelli’s work is not only carried out with the likes of Cairoli, Herlings, Coldenhoff, Jonass and Prado. “We like to test with all of our riders, sometimes some ‘unofficial’ riders and then also some test riders,” Pasquale reveals. “We use as many types of bike and rider as possible for the test. We don’t want a tire for one specific brand or type of bike.” Pauls Jonass (LAT) KTM 250 SX-F Trentino (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer 5. There is no such thing as a ‘special’ MX tire. You can use the same as the MXGP stars. A works KTM 450 SX-F or KTM 250 SX-F might have unique parts and components that the normal rider or KTM fan will never be able to use or buy. In contrast Pirelli’s ‘universal’ approach to their product means a ‘special’ provision for MXGP riders is highly unusual. They will hardly ever hand-cut a tread for a rider. “We have very few ‘special’ tires but when we do we develop it to a point where it will be in the following year’s range to buy: this is our philosophy,” says Pasquale. “We don’t follow one rider we follow the group. We make a product that many will want to use and will easily suit people.” “Our target is to develop tires that we can sell and not just for racing,” he adds. “Sometimes it is difficult for people to believe the same tire we use in a Grand Prix of the world championship is the same you can buy at a dealer and take home … but it is like this.”  Photos: Ray Archer Video: Luca Piffaretti
  17. Interview of the Month: “WESS is what enduro needs and I want to win it” – Taddy Blazusiak Taddy’s back and his goal is simple, win the 2018 World Enduro Super Series … Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Taddy Blazusiak is a rider who needs little introduction to fans of enduro and offroad motorcycle racing. A five-time consecutive Erzbergrodeo winner, as the most dominant indoor enduro rider ever, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Taddy’s pretty much conquered it all. All except the World Enduro Super Series. Hanging up his professional racing boots in December 2016, Taddy called time on what was an illustrious racing career. But no sooner he had ridden off towards a well-deserved retirement, the ripening apple that is WESS quickly enticed him to return. Tempted by the mixed-discipline series that combines hard enduro, classic enduro, cross-country and beach racing across some of the world’s most prestigious events, Taddy knew he had some unfinished business to attend to. And with the title of ‘Ultimate Enduro Champion’ up for grabs, the Polish maestro now has his sights set on the sweet taste of success in 2018. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin “To be honest I’ve been waiting for a championship like this for years. I think WESS is the real enduro series I’ve been looking for,” tells Blazusiak. “I love the concept. The calendar offers a varied mix of events starting in rocky Portugal and ending on the beach in The Netherlands with classic enduro, hard enduro and cross-country racing in-between.” “Personally, I feel that this is what enduro needs – this is what our sport needs to advance. Enduro has many individual disciplines, so I think this will be a series for the real all-round, offroad racer. It fits a rider who can ride technical terrain or go sixth gear flat out down a beach.” Starting in Portugal with the Extreme XL Lagares in May, the seven-round WESS championship takes in the iconic Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble during the first weekend of June. With little time to catch their breath, it then moves to France where riders will compete five days later at Trèfle Lozérien AMV. Switching gears, July’s Red Bull Romaniacs hosts round four before Taddy’s signature race, Red Bull 111 Megawatt, marks round five in September. Finally, Sweden’s Gotland Grand National and The Netherlands Red Bull Knock Out close out the WESS 2018 at the end of October and beginning of November respectively. Covering a vast array of events, WESS brings together a wealth of different disciplines that will see competitors dig deep into their skill set during the year. A championship where experience counts, Taddy feels that will be where his strengths lie. “I’m a pretty good all-round guy – I can adapt. I’ve been around for a long time now so I know all the disciplines we’ll race. I know how to prepare for each one and prepare my bike too. I can swap from a 2-stroke bike to a 4-stroke bike easily enough depending on where we are racing, so I think that the ability to adapt will help me a lot.” “Starting the series strongly is critical so we will focus hard to be ready for rounds one and two, while trying to work on the speed elements necessary for round three at Trèfle Lozérien. After that we can dedicate more time specifically to each event because we have a decent window of testing between each round.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Known for his success in hard enduro, it’s actually the classic enduro format of the Trèfle Lozérien in France which excites Taddy the most. As the oldest discipline of enduro, he feels the history attached to traditional timecard racing needs to be embraced and celebrated. One of the purest forms of racing, it’s rider and machine against the clock – the fastest man wins. “Of course, I’m known for SuperEnduro and hard enduro but I would like to see more classic enduro events added as the series develops,” offers Taddy. “I’ve done a lot of those races over the years and I love the discipline. It’s the pure sprinting aspect of timed special test racing that makes it special for me. It’s going to be hard competing against some of the grass track specialists at the Trèfle Lozérien but that’s also the challenge of WESS – adapting to different disciplines as best you can.” “In all other disciplines you race your competitors shoulder-to-shoulder on the track at the same time, whereas with classic enduro it’s head-to-head against the clock. You are basically riding with 100 per cent commitment to go as fast as you can during each special test. It’s a cool way of racing that has so much history attached to it – it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten about.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Mixing old with new, the Red Bull 111 Megawatt – Taddy’s signature race – is the youngest event on the 2018 WESS calendar. While events like the Trèfle Lozérien and Gotland Grand National are long established races with over 35 years of history each, September will mark the fourth edition of Megawatt. But despite its youth, it has quickly become Poland’s largest offroad race with the 1000 strong entry selling out in minutes. For Taddy, having the event as part of WESS brings an immense sense of pride. With its unique style Red Bull 111 Megawatt unquestionably embodies the spirit of WESS. “Our race has grown so much in the last couple of years and it’s great to see it as part of WESS for 2018 – it’s a perfect fit for the series too,” explains Taddy. “Red Bull 111 Megawatt is labelled as hard enduro but it steers towards cross-country and even beach racing due to the sandy, multi-lap format of Sunday’s main event. Saturday’s qualifications are essentially special tests, so it even ticks the classic enduro box too a little. The Red Bull 111 Megawatt is WESS all in the one race.” “But what’s more important is that it is about rider participation, something that’s unique to enduro, which no other form of motorcycling has. We’ve got over 1,000 riders of all ability, all racing together at the same time on the same track. It removes the elitist element from sport – on the start line everyone is equal.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin As a five-time winner of the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, the KTM rider knows what it’s like to stare down 1,800 entrants chasing the top step of the podium. With those wins coming consecutively from 2007 until 2011 on KTM machinery, it not only launched Blazusiak to the top of the world stage but ensured his name became synonymous with the Austrian race. When you talk about Erzbergrodeo’s Iron Giant, Blazusiak’s name is only ever a breath away. “I have a lot of history with the Red Bull Hare Scramble, it’s helped build my career to where it is today. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself winning it five times in a row with KTM. That will always stand as one of my greatest achievements in my career.” “But I love the Erzbergrodeo because it’s so much more than just a race – it’s become a real dirt bike festival. Everyone is there because they all love the same thing, which is doing crazy things on enduro bikes. The level of competition has grown so much and there are a lot of guys easily capable of winning but I also feel that I’m one of them.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin And where the outcome of this year’s World Enduro Super Series is concerned, he feels he can take on the best of them and win. Never one to do things half-heartedly, he’s got his eyes set on the biggest trophy of them all – that of becoming the Ultimate Enduro Champion. “I didn’t come out of retirement to just ‘make up the numbers’,” asserts Taddy. “I race to win championships, so if I’m doing something I’m in it to do it right, at maximum effort. Winning WESS would be massive, like I said, it’s a dream championship for me and it’s the reason why I’m back.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Red Bull KTM Factory Racing begin their participation in the seven-round World Enduro Super Series in Portugal with the Extreme XL Lagares on May 11-13. Photos: Marcin Kin
  18. Interview of the Month: “WESS is what enduro needs and I want to win it” – Taddy Blazusiak Taddy’s back and his goal is simple, win the 2018 World Enduro Super Series … Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Taddy Blazusiak is a rider who needs little introduction to fans of enduro and offroad motorcycle racing. A five-time consecutive Erzbergrodeo winner, as the most dominant indoor enduro rider ever, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Taddy’s pretty much conquered it all. All except the World Enduro Super Series. Hanging up his professional racing boots in December 2016, Taddy called time on what was an illustrious racing career. But no sooner he had ridden off towards a well-deserved retirement, the ripening apple that is WESS quickly enticed him to return. Tempted by the mixed-discipline series that combines hard enduro, classic enduro, cross-country and beach racing across some of the world’s most prestigious events, Taddy knew he had some unfinished business to attend to. And with the title of ‘Ultimate Enduro Champion’ up for grabs, the Polish maestro now has his sights set on the sweet taste of success in 2018. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin “To be honest I’ve been waiting for a championship like this for years. I think WESS is the real enduro series I’ve been looking for,” tells Blazusiak. “I love the concept. The calendar offers a varied mix of events starting in rocky Portugal and ending on the beach in The Netherlands with classic enduro, hard enduro and cross-country racing in-between.” “Personally, I feel that this is what enduro needs – this is what our sport needs to advance. Enduro has many individual disciplines, so I think this will be a series for the real all-round, offroad racer. It fits a rider who can ride technical terrain or go sixth gear flat out down a beach.” “Personally, I feel that this is what enduro needs – this is what our sport needs to advance.” Starting in Portugal with the Extreme XL Lagares in May, the seven-round WESS championship takes in the iconic Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble during the first weekend of June. With little time to catch their breath, it then moves to France where riders will compete five days later at Trèfle Lozérien AMV. Switching gears, July’s Red Bull Romaniacs hosts round four before Taddy’s signature race, Red Bull 111 Megawatt, marks round five in September. Finally, Sweden’s Gotland Grand National and The Netherlands Red Bull Knock Out close out the WESS 2018 at the end of October and beginning of November respectively. Covering a vast array of events, WESS brings together a wealth of different disciplines that will see competitors dig deep into their skill set during the year. A championship where experience counts, Taddy feels that will be where his strengths lie. “I’m a pretty good all-round guy – I can adapt. I’ve been around for a long time now so I know all the disciplines we’ll race. I know how to prepare for each one and prepare my bike too. I can swap from a 2-stroke bike to a 4-stroke bike easily enough depending on where we are racing, so I think that the ability to adapt will help me a lot.” “Starting the series strongly is critical so we will focus hard to be ready for rounds one and two, while trying to work on the speed elements necessary for round three at Trèfle Lozérien. After that we can dedicate more time specifically to each event because we have a decent window of testing between each round.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Known for his success in hard enduro, it’s actually the classic enduro format of the Trèfle Lozérien in France which excites Taddy the most. As the oldest discipline of enduro, he feels the history attached to traditional timecard racing needs to be embraced and celebrated. One of the purest forms of racing, it’s rider and machine against the clock – the fastest man wins. “Of course, I’m known for SuperEnduro and hard enduro but I would like to see more classic enduro events added as the series develops,” offers Taddy. “I’ve done a lot of those races over the years and I love the discipline. It’s the pure sprinting aspect of timed special test racing that makes it special for me. It’s going to be hard competing against some of the grass track specialists at the Trèfle Lozérien but that’s also the challenge of WESS – adapting to different disciplines as best you can.” “In all other disciplines you race your competitors shoulder-to-shoulder on the track at the same time, whereas with classic enduro it’s head-to-head against the clock. You are basically riding with 100 per cent commitment to go as fast as you can during each special test. It’s a cool way of racing that has so much history attached to it – it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten about.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Mixing old with new, the Red Bull 111 Megawatt – Taddy’s signature race – is the youngest event on the 2018 WESS calendar. While events like the Trèfle Lozérien and Gotland Grand National are long established races with over 35 years of history each, September will mark the fourth edition of Megawatt. But despite its youth, it has quickly become Poland’s largest offroad race with the 1000 strong entry selling out in minutes. For Taddy, having the event as part of WESS brings an immense sense of pride. With its unique style Red Bull 111 Megawatt unquestionably embodies the spirit of WESS. “Our race has grown so much in the last couple of years and it’s great to see it as part of WESS for 2018 – it’s a perfect fit for the series too,” explains Taddy. “Red Bull 111 Megawatt is labelled as hard enduro but it steers towards cross-country and even beach racing due to the sandy, multi-lap format of Sunday’s main event. Saturday’s qualifications are essentially special tests, so it even ticks the classic enduro box too a little. The Red Bull 111 Megawatt is WESS all in the one race.” “But what’s more important is that it is about rider participation, something that’s unique to enduro, which no other form of motorcycling has. We’ve got over 1,000 riders of all ability, all racing together at the same time on the same track. It removes the elitist element from sport – on the start line everyone is equal.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin As a five-time winner of the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, the KTM rider knows what it’s like to stare down 1,800 entrants chasing the top step of the podium. With those wins coming consecutively from 2007 until 2011 on KTM machinery, it not only launched Blazusiak to the top of the world stage but ensured his name became synonymous with the Austrian race. When you talk about Erzbergrodeo’s Iron Giant, Blazusiak’s name is only ever a breath away. “I have a lot of history with the Red Bull Hare Scramble, it’s helped build my career to where it is today. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself winning it five times in a row with KTM. That will always stand as one of my greatest achievements in my career.” “But I love the Erzbergrodeo because it’s so much more than just a race – it’s become a real dirt bike festival. Everyone is there because they all love the same thing, which is doing crazy things on enduro bikes. The level of competition has grown so much and there are a lot of guys easily capable of winning but I also feel that I’m one of them.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin And where the outcome of this year’s World Enduro Super Series is concerned, he feels he can take on the best of them and win. Never one to do things half-heartedly, he’s got his eyes set on the biggest trophy of them all – that of becoming the Ultimate Enduro Champion. “I didn’t come out of retirement to just ‘make up the numbers’,” asserts Taddy. “I race to win championships, so if I’m doing something I’m in it to do it right, at maximum effort. Winning WESS would be massive, like I said, it’s a dream championship for me and it’s the reason why I’m back.” Taddy Blazusiak (POL) © Marcin Kin Red Bull KTM Factory Racing begin their participation in the seven-round World Enduro Super Series in Portugal with the Extreme XL Lagares on May 11-13. Photos: Marcin Kin
  19. Supersport 300: More orange success The strong connection between KTM and the Netherlands is hard to miss. Jeffrey Herlings and Glenn Coldenhoff are going strong for the Austrian manufacturer, while the orange bond has been further strengthened with the coming of KTM Fortron Racing Team in World Supersport 300. For years Arie Vos was the man to beat in the Netherlands. Both in Supersport 600 as well as the Superbike class, he was the uncatchable man. He took a grand total of eight national titles and tried his luck also internationally. Unfortunately, that adventure did not pan out as the Dutchman had hoped. After that one chance, he was never given another, as he had started out his racing career at a relatively late age. “I was already 28 years old when I had my first wild card in World Supersport 600. At that point I’d only been racing for three years,” Vos explains. “I showed quick progress, but obviously my age played a part. I came home eighth for that wild card attempt, which wasn’t bad at all. If I would’ve been twenty at the time, things might’ve went very different from there. I’m not sad about it at all; I had a great run, winning eight titles nationally. I gave it my all.” Arie Vos (NED) © Shot Up Productions The former racer has since quit the racing game a few years ago, but nowadays he’s all about mentoring young talent in motor racing. As co-owner of Vos Oss Motoren (KTM dealership in the south of the Netherlands) he’s been part of the popular KTM RC CUP since 2015. “When you first retire, you’re glad to have your weekends back, no more endless weekends hanging around racetracks. Just doing whatever you like, spending time with the kids, which is a lot of fun and very important to me. But then I came across the opportunity to set up the cup in the Netherlands and dove into the adventure head first. I love giving young riders a chance at the fun of racing, same as I got. I really like helping them get ahead in the sport, if there’s ever a chance.” Hectic preparations With the launch of World Supersport 300 in 2017, Vos saw potential to make that dream come true; setting up his own team and go racing in a world championship. “For me that championship couldn’t have been any more perfect. I actually wanted to start out last season, but KTM wasn’t ready to be competitive from the word go, and since KTM doesn’t do things without being fully prepared, we had to wait.” Fully prepared came with a name; the KTM RC 390 R. “The changes aren’t massive, but they’ll definitely help you maximize the fun on track. Despite the minor changes, it does take quite a bit of time and money to develop. That made the preparations a bit hectic for us.” The past weeks have been tough on Vos and his brother, who also had to run the store in the meanwhile. “It was pretty much impossible to combine the two, so I’ll be glad when the first two races are behind us. Then we can finally take a breather, since things should be running well by then. Unfortunately, we’ve been desperate for time lately, since parts were coming in very late in the preseason.” Though the start wasn’t as hoped, KTM Fortron Racing Team showed its prowess in the first two tests at Aragon. The KTM RC 390 R wasn’t at battle strength just yet, but showed great promise as they were already quite well in the mix. Glenn van Straalen (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions Boost in confidence All three riders went on to warn the competition they weren’t there to fool around; they were going to be a force to be reckoned with. All three Dutch riders in the KTM Fortron Racing Team came from the KTM RC CUP, which is a big advantage. The basic bike is the same, so they’re very familiar with the machinery. Glenn van Straalen earns the title of being the first rider, as he managed to secure the CUP the last two seasons of running. The 17-year-old from the province of Noord-Holland is also the only one in the KTM Fortron Racing Team that has a little experience in World Supersport 300. “Last year I had a wildcard at Assen. Because the KTM lacked homologation, I ran a Honda CBR500. That bike couldn’t have been any more different from my KTM, so it took some time getting used to. Then I went down in FP1, leaving me with little training time to get accustomed. I only managed to qualify 16th , but in the race I made up a few places here and there. As the leading pack started to fall apart, I picked them off bit by bit. Going into the last lap, I’d found a comfortable position with the leaders and in the end I could secure a podium position.” That second place meant a serious boost in confidence for Van Straalen, setting him up successfully for the rest of the 2017 season. Besides winning the KTM RC CUP, he also went on to become the Dutch Supersport 600-champ. Though he’d shown what he was capable of on a bigger bike, he chose to go to World Supersport 300 deliberately. “Weight and size-wise I’m more suited for a 600, but I know I can do better in the 300 Championship. I’ve been racing the KTM RC 390 for three seasons now; I know the bike inside out. Plus, I get to race a lot of different tracks I haven’t raced at yet, and Supersport 300 is a great class to get to know those circuits.” Glenn van Straalen (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions Important point Though he’s the oldest rider in the team at age 23, and is experienced to boot, Koen Meuffels has an even bigger – pun intended – advantage in hand. Meuffels is a phone salesman from Someren (Noord-Brabant) and comes in at 1.60m, weighing a mere 48 kilos; you could say he is made for the KTM RC 390 R. “Yeah, that is really going to help me out in this class. I fit perfectly behind the fairing; anything that sticks out really slows you down, because you don’t have the power to compensate.” The urge to show his talent has only grown over the past years, mostly because of a tough period in 2015 and 2016. “I was forced to throw out two seasons in Dutch Supersport 600 because of epilepsy. I wasn’t allowed to race. So when I was declared fit, I chose the KTM RC 390 Cup. It felt like a step back at first, coming from a 600, but I’m glad I did. Now I’m getting a chance to mix it up in a world championship, which would’ve been so much harder to do on a 600.” His rookie season in World Supersport 300 is an important point in Meuffels’ career. The results he pulls out of the hat in those eight races will direct his future in motorsports. “It’s now or never,” the KTM rider notes. “If I’m not satisfied with my season coming to the end of September when we finish at Magny-Cours, I’m quitting the racing game for good. I might help young riders instead, but I won’t be racing myself. The goal has always been to race in a world championship, and I’ve accomplished that now. I want to show what I’m capable of, but if that is not enough, then I have to be honest to myself. However, should I do well – which I expect – then I hope to take a step up a class. Though another season in World Supersport 300 might not be a bad idea. Just depends on what I come across.” Koen Meuffels (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions Genetically fast The third rider in the team didn’t get the Vos moniker by chance, since Ryan Vos is Arie Vos’ nephew. Contrary to his two compatriots, eighteen-year-old Vos isn’t as experienced by far. The only experience in racing for Ryan Vos have been the past two seasons in the KTM RC CUP. It does show he’s genetically fast, because he got the results to show for it. Taking big steps and learning fast, the Dutchman worked his way forward in those two years. “I’ve had so much to thank my father and my uncle for ever since I started out racing. They’ve been helping me out wherever they can. I know I’m not too experienced just yet, but my uncle said I’d be up to it taking the next step. That’s why I’m confident I’ll do well in the world championship. I still have a lot to learn, but I have two experienced teammates to learn it from, too. And then there’s my uncle, who gives me tips and tricks at a constant. I hope I can repay his faith in me with results this season!” Ryan Vos (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions With distinction Looks like the KTM RC 390 R is in the right hands, because the KTM Fortron Racing Team took their maiden win first time out. Koen Meuffels won the first World Supersport 300 race at Aragon with distinction. “It’s very special to take KTM’s first win in the championship,” Meuffels notes a day after lifting the trophy. “I needed a good start, and I managed that. Once I found myself in the front pack, I waited and pulled it out of the bag on the last lap. That panned out exactly as I’d planned, because I needed to be the third rider going onto the final straight. I reckoned slipstreaming those two would give me enough of an edge to take to the front on the line. I’m not sure the same trick should work again, because it’s all really close. You really need to keep something in store for when the time comes. If you can manage that, you can win.” Scott Deroue (NED), Koen Meuffels (NED) & Mika Perez (ESP) Aragon (ESP) 2018 © KTM “It’s a dream come true,” the proud team manager said. “It’s been so hectic, getting ready for the season, but this makes it all worthwhile. That’s how you do! We showed what the KTM RC 390 R can do and it’s a great big thank you to KTM. They’ve put in so much hard work to prepare the bike for the world championship. Hard work pays off, and that’s great!” Not just Meuffels gave it his all, Van Straalen was also right there when it mattered. In the closing stages he only just fell short to get on the rostrum, finishing 7th. Ryan Vos unfortunately crashed out, but all three KTM riders have shown they’re not in World Supersport 300 by accident. A hopeful start only fuels the need for more orange success. Is there more champagne of victory to come for the KTM Fortron Racing Team? Arie Vos: “Each and every rider in the leading group can win a race. Right now we have two riders that can take on the best. It’s impossible to tell whether or not they can make that assumption come true right now, but they’ve got a fighting chance. That’s for sure.” Ryan Vos (NED), Glenn van Straalen (NED), Koen Meuffels (NED) © Shot Up Productions Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | KTM
  20. Supersport 300: More orange success

    Supersport 300: More orange success The strong connection between KTM and the Netherlands is hard to miss. Jeffrey Herlings and Glenn Coldenhoff are going strong for the Austrian manufacturer, while the orange bond has been further strengthened with the coming of KTM Fortron Racing Team in World Supersport 300. For years Arie Vos was the man to beat in the Netherlands. Both in Supersport 600 as well as the Superbike class, he was the uncatchable man. He took a grand total of eight national titles and tried his luck also internationally. Unfortunately, that adventure did not pan out as the Dutchman had hoped. After that one chance, he was never given another, as he had started out his racing career at a relatively late age. “I was already 28 years old when I had my first wild card in World Supersport 600. At that point I’d only been racing for three years,” Vos explains. “I showed quick progress, but obviously my age played a part. I came home eighth for that wild card attempt, which wasn’t bad at all. If I would’ve been twenty at the time, things might’ve went very different from there. I’m not sad about it at all; I had a great run, winning eight titles nationally. I gave it my all.” Arie Vos (NED) © Shot Up Productions The former racer has since quit the racing game a few years ago, but nowadays he’s all about mentoring young talent in motor racing. As co-owner of Vos Oss Motoren (KTM dealership in the south of the Netherlands) he’s been part of the popular KTM RC CUP since 2015. “When you first retire, you’re glad to have your weekends back, no more endless weekends hanging around racetracks. Just doing whatever you like, spending time with the kids, which is a lot of fun and very important to me. But then I came across the opportunity to set up the cup in the Netherlands and dove into the adventure head first. I love giving young riders a chance at the fun of racing, same as I got. I really like helping them get ahead in the sport, if there’s ever a chance.” Hectic preparations With the launch of World Supersport 300 in 2017, Vos saw potential to make that dream come true; setting up his own team and go racing in a world championship. “For me that championship couldn’t have been any more perfect. I actually wanted to start out last season, but KTM wasn’t ready to be competitive from the word go, and since KTM doesn’t do things without being fully prepared, we had to wait.” Fully prepared came with a name; the KTM RC 390 R. “The changes aren’t massive, but they’ll definitely help you maximize the fun on track. Despite the minor changes, it does take quite a bit of time and money to develop. That made the preparations a bit hectic for us.” The past weeks have been tough on Vos and his brother, who also had to run the store in the meanwhile. “It was pretty much impossible to combine the two, so I’ll be glad when the first two races are behind us. Then we can finally take a breather, since things should be running well by then. Unfortunately, we’ve been desperate for time lately, since parts were coming in very late in the preseason.” Though the start wasn’t as hoped, KTM Fortron Racing Team showed its prowess in the first two tests at Aragon. The KTM RC 390 R wasn’t at battle strength just yet, but showed great promise as they were already quite well in the mix. Glenn van Straalen (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions Boost in confidence All three riders went on to warn the competition they weren’t there to fool around; they were going to be a force to be reckoned with. All three Dutch riders in the KTM Fortron Racing Team came from the KTM RC CUP, which is a big advantage. The basic bike is the same, so they’re very familiar with the machinery. Glenn van Straalen earns the title of being the first rider, as he managed to secure the CUP the last two seasons of running. The 17-year-old from the province of Noord-Holland is also the only one in the KTM Fortron Racing Team that has a little experience in World Supersport 300. “Last year I had a wildcard at Assen. Because the KTM lacked homologation, I ran a Honda CBR500. That bike couldn’t have been any more different from my KTM, so it took some time getting used to. Then I went down in FP1, leaving me with little training time to get accustomed. I only managed to qualify 16th , but in the race I made up a few places here and there. As the leading pack started to fall apart, I picked them off bit by bit. Going into the last lap, I’d found a comfortable position with the leaders and in the end I could secure a podium position.” That second place meant a serious boost in confidence for Van Straalen, setting him up successfully for the rest of the 2017 season. Besides winning the KTM RC CUP, he also went on to become the Dutch Supersport 600-champ. Though he’d shown what he was capable of on a bigger bike, he chose to go to World Supersport 300 deliberately. “Weight and size-wise I’m more suited for a 600, but I know I can do better in the 300 Championship. I’ve been racing the KTM RC 390 for three seasons now; I know the bike inside out. Plus, I get to race a lot of different tracks I haven’t raced at yet, and Supersport 300 is a great class to get to know those circuits.” Glenn van Straalen (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions Important point Though he’s the oldest rider in the team at age 23, and is experienced to boot, Koen Meuffels has an even bigger – pun intended – advantage in hand. Meuffels is a phone salesman from Someren (Noord-Brabant) and comes in at 1.60m, weighing a mere 48 kilos; you could say he is made for the KTM RC 390 R. “Yeah, that is really going to help me out in this class. I fit perfectly behind the fairing; anything that sticks out really slows you down, because you don’t have the power to compensate.” The urge to show his talent has only grown over the past years, mostly because of a tough period in 2015 and 2016. “I was forced to throw out two seasons in Dutch Supersport 600 because of epilepsy. I wasn’t allowed to race. So when I was declared fit, I chose the KTM RC 390 Cup. It felt like a step back at first, coming from a 600, but I’m glad I did. Now I’m getting a chance to mix it up in a world championship, which would’ve been so much harder to do on a 600.” His rookie season in World Supersport 300 is an important point in Meuffels’ career. The results he pulls out of the hat in those eight races will direct his future in motorsports. “It’s now or never,” the KTM rider notes. “If I’m not satisfied with my season coming to the end of September when we finish at Magny-Cours, I’m quitting the racing game for good. I might help young riders instead, but I won’t be racing myself. The goal has always been to race in a world championship, and I’ve accomplished that now. I want to show what I’m capable of, but if that is not enough, then I have to be honest to myself. However, should I do well – which I expect – then I hope to take a step up a class. Though another season in World Supersport 300 might not be a bad idea. Just depends on what I come across.” Koen Meuffels (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions Genetically fast The third rider in the team didn’t get the Vos moniker by chance, since Ryan Vos is Arie Vos’ nephew. Contrary to his two compatriots, eighteen-year-old Vos isn’t as experienced by far. The only experience in racing for Ryan Vos have been the past two seasons in the KTM RC CUP. It does show he’s genetically fast, because he got the results to show for it. Taking big steps and learning fast, the Dutchman worked his way forward in those two years. “I’ve had so much to thank my father and my uncle for ever since I started out racing. They’ve been helping me out wherever they can. I know I’m not too experienced just yet, but my uncle said I’d be up to it taking the next step. That’s why I’m confident I’ll do well in the world championship. I still have a lot to learn, but I have two experienced teammates to learn it from, too. And then there’s my uncle, who gives me tips and tricks at a constant. I hope I can repay his faith in me with results this season!” Ryan Vos (NED) KTM RC 390 R © Shot Up Productions With distinction Looks like the KTM RC 390 R is in the right hands, because the KTM Fortron Racing Team took their maiden win first time out. Koen Meuffels won the first World Supersport 300 race at Aragon with distinction. “It’s very special to take KTM’s first win in the championship,” Meuffels notes a day after lifting the trophy. “I needed a good start, and I managed that. Once I found myself in the front pack, I waited and pulled it out of the bag on the last lap. That panned out exactly as I’d planned, because I needed to be the third rider going onto the final straight. I reckoned slipstreaming those two would give me enough of an edge to take to the front on the line. I’m not sure the same trick should work again, because it’s all really close. You really need to keep something in store for when the time comes. If you can manage that, you can win.” Scott Deroue (NED), Koen Meuffels (NED) & Mika Perez (ESP) Aragon (ESP) 2018 © KTM “It’s a dream come true,” the proud team manager said. “It’s been so hectic, getting ready for the season, but this makes it all worthwhile. That’s how you do! We showed what the KTM RC 390 R can do and it’s a great big thank you to KTM. They’ve put in so much hard work to prepare the bike for the world championship. Hard work pays off, and that’s great!” Not just Meuffels gave it his all, Van Straalen was also right there when it mattered. In the closing stages he only just fell short to get on the rostrum, finishing 7th. Ryan Vos unfortunately crashed out, but all three KTM riders have shown they’re not in World Supersport 300 by accident. A hopeful start only fuels the need for more orange success. Is there more champagne of victory to come for the KTM Fortron Racing Team? Arie Vos: “Each and every rider in the leading group can win a race. Right now we have two riders that can take on the best. It’s impossible to tell whether or not they can make that assumption come true right now, but they’ve got a fighting chance. That’s for sure.” Ryan Vos (NED), Glenn van Straalen (NED), Koen Meuffels (NED) © Shot Up Productions Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | KTM
  21. ktm KTM is READY TO RACE WESS

    KTM is READY TO RACE WESS Posted in Racing KTM’s Factory Enduro stars are READY TO RACE WESS. A brand-new series that searches for the ultimate enduro champion, the World Enduro Super Series kicks off on May 11 at the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal – one of many events in which the amateur race the pros in the true spirit of Enduro. f.l.t.r.: Cody Webb (USA), Nathan Watson (GBR), Taddy Blazusiak (POL), Jonny Walker (GBR) & Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Recently crowned SuperEnduro World Champion and FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Cody Webb is joined by the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing line-up of Enduro2 World Champion Josep Garcia, multi-time World Champion Taddy Blazusiak, who is returning to competition from retirement, British-ace Nathan Watson, and multiple hard enduro winning Jonny Walker. It will be an exciting season of seven races that are world-renowned in their own right and the WESS racers will face different challenges that will test their abilities to the maximum with classic enduro, hard enduro and beach racing to find the best all-round rider. The series celebrates a dynamic calendar with a variety of challenges, and goes back to the grass roots at the best-loved enduro events with hundreds of riders battling alongside the pros. [embedded content] With anticipation building ahead of the start of the WESS championship, and winter testing almost complete, we got an insight of what to expect at the forthcoming races during the recent team shooting in Spain. The riders will compete on both 2-stroke and 4-stroke machinery during the season, whilst not only having to battle each other, but the terrain and thousands of amateur racers and local experts that will line-up at each event. Here’s a few images from Spain and we look forward to the series kick off! f.l.t.r.: Josep Garcia (ESP), Cody Webb (USA), Nathan Watson (GBR), Taddy Blazusiak (POL) & Jonny Walker (GBR) © Marcin Kin Photos: Marcin Kin Video: Future7Media
  22. KTM is READY TO RACE WESS

    KTM is READY TO RACE WESS Posted in Racing KTM’s Factory Enduro stars are READY TO RACE WESS. A brand-new series that searches for the ultimate enduro champion, the World Enduro Super Series kicks off on May 11 at the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal – one of many events in which the amateur race the pros in the true spirit of Enduro. f.l.t.r.: Cody Webb (USA), Nathan Watson (GBR), Taddy Blazusiak (POL), Jonny Walker (GBR) & Josep Garcia (ESP) © Marcin Kin Recently crowned SuperEnduro World Champion and FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Cody Webb is joined by the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing line-up of Enduro2 World Champion Josep Garcia, multi-time World Champion Taddy Blazusiak, who is returning to competition from retirement, British-ace Nathan Watson, and multiple hard enduro winning Jonny Walker. It will be an exciting season of seven races that are world-renowned in their own right and the WESS racers will face different challenges that will test their abilities to the maximum with classic enduro, hard enduro and beach racing to find the best all-round rider. The series celebrates a dynamic calendar with a variety of challenges, and goes back to the grass roots at the best-loved enduro events with hundreds of riders battling alongside the pros. [embedded content] With anticipation building ahead of the start of the WESS championship, and winter testing almost complete, we got an insight of what to expect at the forthcoming races during the recent team shooting in Spain. The riders will compete on both 2-stroke and 4-stroke machinery during the season, whilst not only having to battle each other, but the terrain and thousands of amateur racers and local experts that will line-up at each event. Here’s a few images from Spain and we look forward to the series kick off! f.l.t.r.: Josep Garcia (ESP), Cody Webb (USA), Nathan Watson (GBR), Taddy Blazusiak (POL) & Jonny Walker (GBR) © Marcin Kin Photos: Marcin Kin Video: Future7Media
  23. ktm Rok on DUKEs

    Rok on DUKEs Freestyle stunt rider, Rok Bagoroš, began his professional career in 2011 with the KTM 125 DUKE. Since then, he’s performed around the world on every single cylinder DUKE in the range. KTM BLOG caught up with the Slovenian rider to see what he thinks to the recently updated KTM 125 DUKE, KTM 250 DUKE and KTM 390 DUKE and to ask him what he loves about the new generation and what made the previous models so good for stunting. Rok Bagoroš © JBA Rok Bagoroš is a man always on the go. If it isn’t him performing gravity-defying tricks on a range of KTM DUKEs at events, then he is dreaming up new tricks, the content of his next video or the designs for his new range of clothing. He’s a hard worker, no doubting that. The beginning of Rok’s professional career coincided with the launch of the KTM 125 DUKE and together they showed the world their abilities. When the KTM 690 DUKE was massively updated for 2012, Rok helped wheelie it into the face (not literally) of riders. The same happened with the introduction of the KTM 200 DUKE and then again with the KTM 390 DUKE. He is the only stunt rider among the world’s elite using a single-cylinder engine motorcycle. He’s also fresh back from Nepal after performing the world’s highest stunt show in the Himalayas. So, in terms of extreme riding with DUKEs from 125cc to 690cc, there’s no better experienced man than to talk to us about the DUKEs past, present and future. © Rok Bagoroš KTM BLOG was in Slovenia, visiting Rok in his home town of Murska Sobota for a special media event involving the charismatic rider and the KTM 390 DUKE. The format for the event will see the media ride on the roads around Murska Sobota, crossing the border between Slovenia and Austria several times. Not only will Rok ride ‘The Corner Rocket’ on the road with the media, he’ll also be given them some special riding tips. Very special … Before the action with the journalists went down, we took the time with Rok to check out his new Moto Garaža where he and his team prepare the stunt bikes, creates special parts, service motorcycles from the local area and sell his official merchandise. “It’s great to spend time with people with the same passion of me,” Rok says behind the counter of the garage. “And some of them can really ride. It’s just that they will all be expecting me to put on a bit of a show at every traffic light and I’ve been told I need to behave as we don’t need trouble with the police – especially in my home town. But sometimes I just can’t help myself.” And he’s right. When we rode with Rok the previous day to check the test routes and sight the photo points, it was like being in the middle of a KTM promo video. Every stop sign was an opportunity to test the brakes with a rolling stoppie and each green light chance to launch a wheelie. Worth noting, Rok did ride in this KTM 125 DUKE promo video. © Rok Bagoroš Anyway, after seven years riding KTM single cylinders – rarely with both wheels on the floor – we asked Rok about the DUKE range; past, present and near future. KTM 125 DUKE (using from 2011-2016) “The bike I started my pro career with. When I first saw it, I didn’t know how to use the clutch! I came from scooter stunt riding, so it took me a couple of weeks to learn this funny lever! Not much later I got my first wheelie using the clutch and then the other tricks soon followed. The transformation from automatic to manual was quite quick! I used the KTM 125 DUKE for two years and people’s minds were blown that I could do wheelies, drifts, burnouts and technical stuff with this small capacity bike. But for me it was easy. For a 125, it has a lot of power. As soon as you put a bigger sprocket on the rear, it is a great base for a stunt bike; it’s a solid machine and you can’t destroy it quickly. It came ready with good equipment, such as the brakes and suspension. A lot of competitor 125cc bikes have slim forks that would soon be bent like a banana with how I ride. I still have my original bike with same sticker kit. I will never change that bike.” KTM 690 DUKE (using from 2012 on) “This was when the 690 moved away from its supermoto styling and became more of a naked roadster, like the 125. It was a huge step for me to go from the 125 to 690! Not just in terms of power, but also the weight – and both are light bikes! So, I had to bulk up; the back and core muscles for stunt riders are under a lot of stress. So, I trained hard. The 690 is a wheelie machine – no question – but we had to put a lot of development into preparing this bike for technical stunt riding. It’s a powerful bike, so we could make some seriously epic drifts, but we also softened off the power a lot!” KTM 690 DUKE © Rok Bagoroš KTM 200 DUKE (using from 2013 to 2016) “KTM entered many new markets with the KTM 200 DUKE and, like I did with the KTM 125 DUKE, it allowed me to increase awareness for KTM in a lot of new countries. This bike is what really developed my name as a stunt rider and was my favorite KTM, up until now. It has enough power to do drifts but feels perfect when you do the really technical tricks, like wheelie circles, no-hand wheelie circles, combinations and so on. It’s so smooth. The engine on my bike is still the same in four years; I’ve never needed to change any pistons, bearings – nothing has broken. It takes the hammering and is so reliable. Probably why it is so loved by owners.” KTM 200 DUKE © Rok Bagoroš KTM 390 DUKE (using from 2014 to 2016) “It has so much more power over the KTM 200 DUKE with not much of an increase on weight. Quite aggressive, an incredible street bike, but I’d became so dialed into the 200 by this point I concentrated on that bike more for most of my shows. Funny, sometimes less power can be more. Then again, my riding is not normal!” THE NEW BREED With helping KTM produce promotional videos and images for the new DUKEs and attending press launches and other such events, Rok has enjoyed plenty of saddle time on the new KTM 125 DUKE, KTM 250 DUKE and KTM 390 DUKE in standard trim – no special parts, other than KTM PowerParts! “Looks wise, the new bikes are once again on another level,” the 27-year old explains. “I was expecting a small update for last year, but it was a brand-new bike – frame, plastics, tank, headlight. It’s like nothing compared to the previous bikes. I love the sharp edges and how it looks like the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. I think the 125 and 390’s headlight is the best feature. On my bikes, I usually change the lights to a motocross plate as I don’t want to hang with my legs on the light. But the new model light is slimmer and looks so sick that maybe I can leave the light on it!” © Head Lens Media KTM 125 DUKE (2017 on) “This is a huge change. I’m not saying that because I’m a KTM factory rider. The suspension is a BIG jump in performance. Before, my feeling was that it was too soft. But now it has a great feeling and stability for high speed stoppies and kangaroo stoppies. Also, the shock absorber is much better – this is next level equipment. The front brake is also a big improvement in terms of performance and the gear shifting is smoother. The engine has always been good for power and torque, so no problems there.” KTM 250 DUKE (2017 on) “I love the 250 – it’s the closest to the 200 in terms of the engine. I really got to know this bike in 2017 as I did a lot of shows with it around the world. Even more crazy, I just used it in Nepal to perform the highest stunt show ever recorded at 3664 meters. To get the record I needed to do a 20-minute show. Making the job harder, is that we lost 30% of the bike’s power at that altitude because the air is so thin. I also had oxygen on standby! So, we went down from 30hp to 21, but the KTM 250 DUKE still delivered the tricks. Incredible.” KTM 390 DUKE (2017 on) “I love doing stoppies. This bike has a really powerful front brake and this gives me the ability to do some great stoppies. The sintered brake pads bite hard; you can hear and feel this and I love it. The suspension is the same next level jump as with the 125. For sure, it is firmer than the smaller bike and worked really well on all the crazy roads I rode on in Turin at the launch last year – from over the tram lines in the city to the fast sweepers in the mountains. Engine wise, I found the previous model was not so smooth with its power delivery. But the new bike is a lot more improved and feels stronger – I saw you Luke [ED – who me?] pulling some very big wheelies on it.” KTM 390 DUKE © Rok Bagoroš While Rok waits for confirmation from Guinness World Records to see if his Himalayan show made it into the record books, we don’t doubt that he isn’t already making plans for his next extreme adventure. Rok on! Photos: JBA | Rok Bagoroš | Head Lens Media
  24. Rok on DUKEs

    Rok on DUKEs Freestyle stunt rider, Rok Bagoroš, began his professional career in 2011 with the KTM 125 DUKE. Since then, he’s performed around the world on every single cylinder DUKE in the range. KTM BLOG caught up with the Slovenian rider to see what he thinks to the recently updated KTM 125 DUKE, KTM 250 DUKE and KTM 390 DUKE and to ask him what he loves about the new generation and what made the previous models so good for stunting. Rok Bagoroš © JBA Rok Bagoroš is a man always on the go. If it isn’t him performing gravity-defying tricks on a range of KTM DUKEs at events, then he is dreaming up new tricks, the content of his next video or the designs for his new range of clothing. He’s a hard worker, no doubting that. The beginning of Rok’s professional career coincided with the launch of the KTM 125 DUKE and together they showed the world their abilities. When the KTM 690 DUKE was massively updated for 2012, Rok helped wheelie it into the face (not literally) of riders. The same happened with the introduction of the KTM 200 DUKE and then again with the KTM 390 DUKE. He is the only stunt rider among the world’s elite using a single-cylinder engine motorcycle. He’s also fresh back from Nepal after performing the world’s highest stunt show in the Himalayas. So, in terms of extreme riding with DUKEs from 125cc to 690cc, there’s no better experienced man than to talk to us about the DUKEs past, present and future. © Rok Bagoroš KTM BLOG was in Slovenia, visiting Rok in his home town of Murska Sobota for a special media event involving the charismatic rider and the KTM 390 DUKE. The format for the event will see the media ride on the roads around Murska Sobota, crossing the border between Slovenia and Austria several times. Not only will Rok ride ‘The Corner Rocket’ on the road with the media, he’ll also be given them some special riding tips. Very special … Before the action with the journalists went down, we took the time with Rok to check out his new Moto Garaža where he and his team prepare the stunt bikes, creates special parts, service motorcycles from the local area and sell his official merchandise. “It’s great to spend time with people with the same passion of me,” Rok says behind the counter of the garage. “And some of them can really ride. It’s just that they will all be expecting me to put on a bit of a show at every traffic light and I’ve been told I need to behave as we don’t need trouble with the police – especially in my home town. But sometimes I just can’t help myself.” And he’s right. When we rode with Rok the previous day to check the test routes and sight the photo points, it was like being in the middle of a KTM promo video. Every stop sign was an opportunity to test the brakes with a rolling stoppie and each green light chance to launch a wheelie. Worth noting, Rok did ride in this KTM 125 DUKE promo video. © Rok Bagoroš Anyway, after seven years riding KTM single cylinders – rarely with both wheels on the floor – we asked Rok about the DUKE range; past, present and near future. KTM 125 DUKE (using from 2011-2016) “The bike I started my pro career with. When I first saw it, I didn’t know how to use the clutch! I came from scooter stunt riding, so it took me a couple of weeks to learn this funny lever! Not much later I got my first wheelie using the clutch and then the other tricks soon followed. The transformation from automatic to manual was quite quick! I used the KTM 125 DUKE for two years and people’s minds were blown that I could do wheelies, drifts, burnouts and technical stuff with this small capacity bike. But for me it was easy. For a 125, it has a lot of power. As soon as you put a bigger sprocket on the rear, it is a great base for a stunt bike; it’s a solid machine and you can’t destroy it quickly. It came ready with good equipment, such as the brakes and suspension. A lot of competitor 125cc bikes have slim forks that would soon be bent like a banana with how I ride. I still have my original bike with same sticker kit. I will never change that bike.” KTM 690 DUKE (using from 2012 on) “This was when the 690 moved away from its supermoto styling and became more of a naked roadster, like the 125. It was a huge step for me to go from the 125 to 690! Not just in terms of power, but also the weight – and both are light bikes! So, I had to bulk up; the back and core muscles for stunt riders are under a lot of stress. So, I trained hard. The 690 is a wheelie machine – no question – but we had to put a lot of development into preparing this bike for technical stunt riding. It’s a powerful bike, so we could make some seriously epic drifts, but we also softened off the power a lot!” KTM 690 DUKE © Rok Bagoroš KTM 200 DUKE (using from 2013 to 2016) “KTM entered many new markets with the KTM 200 DUKE and, like I did with the KTM 125 DUKE, it allowed me to increase awareness for KTM in a lot of new countries. This bike is what really developed my name as a stunt rider and was my favorite KTM, up until now. It has enough power to do drifts but feels perfect when you do the really technical tricks, like wheelie circles, no-hand wheelie circles, combinations and so on. It’s so smooth. The engine on my bike is still the same in four years; I’ve never needed to change any pistons, bearings – nothing has broken. It takes the hammering and is so reliable. Probably why it is so loved by owners.” KTM 200 DUKE © Rok Bagoroš KTM 390 DUKE (using from 2014 to 2016) “It has so much more power over the KTM 200 DUKE with not much of an increase on weight. Quite aggressive, an incredible street bike, but I’d became so dialed into the 200 by this point I concentrated on that bike more for most of my shows. Funny, sometimes less power can be more. Then again, my riding is not normal!” THE NEW BREED With helping KTM produce promotional videos and images for the new DUKEs and attending press launches and other such events, Rok has enjoyed plenty of saddle time on the new KTM 125 DUKE, KTM 250 DUKE and KTM 390 DUKE in standard trim – no special parts, other than KTM PowerParts! “Looks wise, the new bikes are once again on another level,” the 27-year old explains. “I was expecting a small update for last year, but it was a brand-new bike – frame, plastics, tank, headlight. It’s like nothing compared to the previous bikes. I love the sharp edges and how it looks like the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. I think the 125 and 390’s headlight is the best feature. On my bikes, I usually change the lights to a motocross plate as I don’t want to hang with my legs on the light. But the new model light is slimmer and looks so sick that maybe I can leave the light on it!” © Head Lens Media KTM 125 DUKE (2017 on) “This is a huge change. I’m not saying that because I’m a KTM factory rider. The suspension is a BIG jump in performance. Before, my feeling was that it was too soft. But now it has a great feeling and stability for high speed stoppies and kangaroo stoppies. Also, the shock absorber is much better – this is next level equipment. The front brake is also a big improvement in terms of performance and the gear shifting is smoother. The engine has always been good for power and torque, so no problems there.” KTM 250 DUKE (2017 on) “I love the 250 – it’s the closest to the 200 in terms of the engine. I really got to know this bike in 2017 as I did a lot of shows with it around the world. Even more crazy, I just used it in Nepal to perform the highest stunt show ever recorded at 3664 meters. To get the record I needed to do a 20-minute show. Making the job harder, is that we lost 30% of the bike’s power at that altitude because the air is so thin. I also had oxygen on standby! So, we went down from 30hp to 21, but the KTM 250 DUKE still delivered the tricks. Incredible.” KTM 390 DUKE (2017 on) “I love doing stoppies. This bike has a really powerful front brake and this gives me the ability to do some great stoppies. The sintered brake pads bite hard; you can hear and feel this and I love it. The suspension is the same next level jump as with the 125. For sure, it is firmer than the smaller bike and worked really well on all the crazy roads I rode on in Turin at the launch last year – from over the tram lines in the city to the fast sweepers in the mountains. Engine wise, I found the previous model was not so smooth with its power delivery. But the new bike is a lot more improved and feels stronger – I saw you Luke [ED – who me?] pulling some very big wheelies on it.” KTM 390 DUKE © Rok Bagoroš While Rok waits for confirmation from Guinness World Records to see if his Himalayan show made it into the record books, we don’t doubt that he isn’t already making plans for his next extreme adventure. Rok on! Photos: JBA | Rok Bagoroš | Head Lens Media
  25. Stop! How braking differs from MXGP to MotoGP™ MXGP and MotoGPTM are two racing disciplines that are like chalk and cheese in many ways and the aspect of braking is one of the great separators. We gained some insight from the Red Bull KTM factions of both paddocks to understand further … OK, simply through the respective nature of road racing and motocross it is easy to see why the subject of brakes and slowing the bike is so diverse. In a series like MotoGPTM the front wheel-eclipsing systems are indispensable to haul the KTM RC16 on the track and from speeds touching 360 km/h as well as for overtaking. In MXGP the same principal applies but many other factors come into play, such as the type of terrain, engine braking and gyroscopic effects in the air. A motocross rider will hardly use the front brake in the sand and overtaking can come through other judgement such as line choice, traction and air-time. Bradley Smith (GBR) KTM RC16 Termas de Río Hondo (ARG) 2018 © Gold and Goose Braking is an undeniable part of racing, even an art form that a professional will have perfected over years of practice. But it is curious how its importance can vary. “It is essential,” says John Eyre, a veteran of almost twenty years in MotoGPTM and now part of Bradley Smith’s technical crew. “We are running mostly carbon brakes in MotoGPTM in both the wet and the dry. We’ll have a 340 mass disc on high-braking circuits like Sepang [Malaysia] and Motegi [Japan] and there is a 320 standard mass option, which we use in the wet with covers. Every motorcycle has to stop and that explains and justifies the cost.” That figure can reach staggering levels at the pinnacle of road racing. “When I worked for other manufacturers the budget was a million euros just for brakes,” Eyre says. “We used to have a pallet full of Brembo boxes. When you crash in MotoGPTM then generally you are knocking out a set of pads and discs; a ‘pebble-dashing’ means they are gone. You’re looking at 12,000 euros for discs and another 4-5 for pads. You try and keep your best set for the race and we’ll have one set and transfer that from bike to bike.” John Eyre (GBR) KTM RC16 Losail (QAT) 2018 © Marcin Kin Why so pricey? The resistance and reliability of the Brembo material KTM uses not only has to perform for sporting reasons but also for absolute safety. “It’s the force,” he says, speaking of the hard G-force demands that strain both the rider and the machinery. “Temperature-wise I know that in Motegi we were running at almost 1000 degrees, which is the limit and why you really need the 340s. Every rider is different with their braking, different forces, so it means a different pad-compound.” MotoGPTM will prolong their brake components simply due to the cost factor, MXGP – with the factory team using Dutch specialists Moto-Master – involves a much higher turnover … even if the ‘braking = overtaking’ equation is not as pronounced as road racing. “Speaking specifically about Jeffrey Herlings then he is hard on the rear brake with the bigger bike and generates a lot of heat,” reveals Team Manager Dirk Gruebel of the former MX2 three times world champion and now MXGP star. “They start to squeak and the brake pads get too hot and glaze up so you don’t have the desired performance. We’ll use a disc per weekend and sometimes two if you have a track like Villars-sous-Écot [France] with a lot of downhills.” Dirk Gruebel (GER) Valkenswaard (NED) 2018 © Ray Archer “The brakes are pretty sturdy; it’s all metal!” the German adds. “In MotoGPTM you’ll have carbon discs, which are quite sensitive to any impact. Here in motocross the brakes are constantly being sprayed with sand or stones or a mud race can be pretty bad for them … but they’ll generally last a weekend.” “It is not a super-expensive component of the bike and calipers last a long time,” Gruebel continues. “We run them quite a lot: three-four races without a problem and then for the rest of their lives they’ll be on the practice bike.” Of course the use and intensity of braking comes down to personal taste and the way the lever/peg is squeezed and pushed. “You also have the 4-stroke factor,” Gruebel says. “You needed more braking emphasis with the 2-strokes because when you shut-off the gas the bike kept going. Now there is engine-braking which the guys can also adjust – some prefer more and some prefer less – and that affects the setup for brakes. I wouldn’t say that we have super-oversized brakes on our bikes: they are the same dimensions that we were using ten-fifteen years. There might be some variation but we’re talking 260-270. Nothing like they use in road racing.” “Different sizes but also different riders as well,” says Briton Eyre. “I worked with Dani Pedrosa for eleven years and he was very finicky with brakes. He’d sometimes use a lower mass because he wasn’t too aggressive whereas others would run it higher because they were really hammering the brakes. So it depends on the rider. In Bradley’s case he seems to like the 340s, which would suit an aggressive braker, but he isn’t really like that. I think he uses it to his benefit in some places where he is just rolling on the brake to help the bike turn; that’s the difference. Brad fluctuates between front and rear. He used the rear a lot more last year and I guess that is just because of setup. We can tell this from the pads: he is not as aggressive as he was last year. On the front he is very similar.” Brembo Termas de Río Hondo (ARG) 2018 © Gold and Goose A race bike can be like a puzzle. The technicality of MotoGPTM means the KTM RC16 is perhaps more of a ‘500 piece’ challenge compared to the ‘200’ of motocross. The range of parts and solutions to test can be dizzying, particularly in MotoGPTM. According to the engineers, braking is a very valuable area of the pre-season prep process. “Just to get a feeling for the rider, and if it helps him turn better, that they keep the same temperature; any little improvement we can find really,” says Eyre. “We might get development ideas and parts during the season and we’d test them for sure … but probably not use them in race conditions because you know what you have got already.” “We test the geometry of the levers, pump diameters and compounds of the brakes and how they harmonize with the discs but I would say we haven’t made a big step in this area for two-three years,” Gruebel says of the MXGP work. MXGP can benefit from ideas and evolutions like Moto-Master’s Flame discs (and ‘Wave’ discs generally) and the work in MotoGPTM can eventually feed directly onto the road and the future could bring some surprises according to Eyre. “As with anything technology does not slow and there could be something quite different in three-four years time,” the Brit opines. “It is hard to say where it will go because things change all the time, like the sizes of discs and compounds. It is non-stop and development will continue. Something new will pop up and everyone will start using it … like carbon discs in the wet. It became like a ‘new fashion’ and clearly it must work.” Photos: Gold and Goose | Ray Archer | Marcin Kin | KTM
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