KTM: Ready to Race
KTM will be omnipresent in the paddock and the track in the 125 cc and 250 cc classes of international road racing in the 2008 season; it has been announced by the company’s headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria.
“In keeping with our well-known policy to be always “Ready to Race”, we are making a dramatic increase in our international road racing activities for the 2008 season, “said Winfried Kerschhaggl, head of KTM Motor Sports. “This indicates our firm commitment to be active and successful in major road racing competition and is in keeping with our market move into the road bike sector.”
Effective immediately, KTM will not only run the Red Bull KTM factory team in the 125cc and 250 cc classes of the premiere class MotoGP Road Racing World Championship; the company now extend its activities to include support and the supply of KTM motorcycles to a number of private teams.
KTM Factory Riders
Under the expert guidance of KTM racing director Harald Bartol, the 250 cc Factory Team for 2008 includes the experienced Hiroshi Aoyama (Japan) and Mika Kallio (Finland) both of whom made their mark in 2007 and have the potential to be winners in their class.
Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher, a 125 cc KTM factory rider within a new one-man team configuration, races under the banner Red Bull KTM 125 Team in 2008.
Many more riders on KTM machines in 2008
From now on KTM actively supports a range of private teams, which the company believes is an excellent way of supporting young talent and allowing promising riders to contest races on high performance machines. KTM’s Konrad Hefele has been appointed to oversee the operational activities with the various private teams.
Team Repsol KTM
KTM is particularly thrilled that in 2008 the riders of Alberto Puig’s Team Repsol will be onboard the machines from Mattighofen. Not only is Puig one of the great racing personalities; he moved off the track to become an influential talent spotter and mentor to developing riders. Team Repsol’s decision to go with KTM machines in both the 125cc and 250 cc classes underlines the depth of this valuable sponsorship partnership and the importance of the new, radically expanded team structure.
Under Puig’s astute guidance, Spain’s Julian Simon, who was a full factory rider for KTM in the 2006 season, contests the 250 cc class and retains full factory status. KTM is particularly pleased to have Simon again onboard their racing machines. Completing the Team Repsol KTM racing stable are two very promising young riders Spanish riders in Esteve Rabat and Marc Marquez on the Repsol KTM 125 cc machines. Alberto Puig has now also opted to use KTM 125 race bikes for his activities in the rookies program of the MotoGP Academy.
KTM supports Team Valsir Seedorf
The popular Japanese rider Tomoyoshi Koyama, who raced in the Red Bull KTM factory team in 2007, also stays onboard a KTM machine, racing for Team Valsir Seedorf. He will be joined in the team by 20-year old Italian Lorenzo Zanetti who contested his first full 125 cc world championship season in 2005.
Scot Racing Team 125cc onboard KTM machines
This private team will field two 125cc riders in 20-year old Italian rider Raffaele De Rosa who enters his third season in the top level of 125 cc racing. His team-mate will be 27-year-old Spanish rider Pablo Nieto, who won his first GP in 2003, Nieto, nicknamed “El Chiquitin”, is the son of the legendary racing star Angel Nieto.
Red Bull Rookies Cup
This unique competition continues in Europe for 2008, while a second series is also being contested in the USA. Twenty three talented young riders have made it through the selection process for each of the competitions and all 46 will race on identical KTM machines. The decision to run a parallel competition for young riders in the USA is an indication of the success of the inaugural series in 2007, of KTM’s commitment to support young riding talent and of the growing significance of the KTM brand road bikes in the USA.