KTM-Logo-2-14-12The 2014 edition of the Dakar Rally was billed at the outset as longer, harder and tougher. The first half of this annual motorsports test of strength for both man and machine have lived up to its reputation in every way.

As riders and teams settled into Salta in Argentina’s Andean foothills for the one day of respite in this 9,000 km epic, it was time to gather strength and assess what has been a very tough and eventful first half.

For the Red Bull KTM Factory team, bidding for its thirteenth Dakar title this year, it has been mixed fortunes so far. Three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma has performed to his usual high standard and leads at the half way mark by an impressive 42.17 minutes.

Coma-KTM-Dakar-1-9-14Red Bull KTM factory rider and three-times Dakar winner Marc Coma rose to the occasion on Thursday during yet another very difficult day to claim his first stage victory in the 2014 Dakar Rally. Coma led in teammate Jordi Viladoms and KTM supported rider Kuba Przygonski allowing KTM to scoop the top three places.

Coma said it had been another difficult day: “I opened ninety percent of the stage today. Everything was running well but it was soft sand and very technical and when you’re on the camel grass it is tough. At the end of the last part it was very difficult to find the finish line. I got to another river and had to cut back to find the correct one. But in the end it was good.”

Coma, who moved into second behind the leader Barreda on Wednesday by just three minutes has now taken control of the overall lead after winning the stage more than 12 minutes in front of Viladoms. He leads the overall standings by 41 minutes 10 from Barreda.

KTM-Logo-2-14-12Clay City, KY – Factory Husaberg rider Russell Bobbitt captured his fifth win of the season at the seventh round of the OMA Nationals aboard his Husaberg TE300.

Bobbitt launched off the line to a great start grabbing the holeshot. “It was a shorter course than normal,” Bobbitt reported. “There was a lot of rolling hills but also some really slick sections down in the creek beds.”

Bobbitt led the first two laps of the race before AirGroup Radiant Husaberg rider Nick Fahringer made a pass for the lead. Bobbitt remained close to Fahringer and was able to capitalize on Fahringer’s mistake a lap later when Fahringer crashed in a slick section. Bobbitt took over the lead and began to pull away. By the end of the race, Bobbitt had stretched his lead to over one minute on Fahringer, who held on to finish second.

MURRIETA, Calif. – KTM Motorsports is pleased to announce the signing of Maria Forsberg to its Factory FMF/KTM Racing Team for the 2012 season. This announcement is the first time in KTM’s U.S. racing history that a female rider will race under the factory semi for the season.

Forsberg was the most successful female off-road racing athlete in 2011 winning her second GNCC Championship title, the X-Games Women’s EnduroCross Gold Medal and ending her year with top honors after being awarded as the AMA Racing Female Athlete of the Year.

“With Maria’s success over her pro career and most recently this last season it was an easy decision to move her to our factory team. We are very excited to have her under the tent and to provide her with the support she has worked hard to earn. We look forward to working more directly with her this coming year to help her defend her title,” remarked Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.

Over her 9 year professional career, Forsberg has claimed 4 WORCS Women’s Championships, 2 GNCC Titles, 2 AMA Racing Female Athlete of the Year awards and an X-Games Gold medal. She has raced her entire pro career as a member of the KTM support team RPM/KTM.

“I owe all of my success to my sponsors and my family. Mike Hurlbert and his RPM/KTM Team have helped me every step of the way during my career and I can’t thank them enough for their support over the years,” stated Forsberg. “Becoming a factory rider has always been my dream and I can’t believe it has finally come true. I was so excited when I got the call. 2011 has been such a great year for me. With my racing success, my marriage and now joining the factory team, I couldn’t have dreamed of a better year. I am very excited to race and represent the FMF/KTM Team and can’t wait to get on the bike next season.”

Forsberg will defend her title in the 2012 GNCC Series while also competing in select AMA EnduroCross competitions as well as the X-Games Women’s EnduroCross event.  She will be surrounded by a team of champions under the FMF/KTM tent including: AMA National Enduro Champion Russell Bobbitt, AMA Hare & Hound and WORCS Champion Kurt Caselli, GNCC XC1 Champion Charlie Mullins, 2-time GNCC XC2 Champion Kailub Russell, former 125cc Motocross and former WORCS Champion Mike Brown and multi-time amateur GNCC Champion Cory Buttrick.

Triple Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma of Spain has renewed his contract as a factory rider with KTM, the Sportsmotorcycle specialist brand from Austria. Coma will continue to compete for KTM in top international rallies and has expressed his desire to stay loyal to the brand where he started his career as a factory rider.

“I am glad to have been part of the KTM family for 10 years now and I want to finish my career with the brand where I first started as a factory rider I am looking forward at the next challenges and I’ll be racing in the Pharaons Rally and the Morocco Rally in preparation for the 2012 Dakar Rally,” Coma said when he signed his contract.

Senior KTM officials also expressed great satisfaction that Coma will stay with the brand. Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports said: “We are proud to have had Marc with us for such a long time. Together we have achieved fantastic results in Rally sport over the past years and we want to achieve even more in the coming years. Marc is a great example of professionalism and of commitment to the sport and to KTM. Without a doubt he also represents pure motorcycle passion. Rally is extremely important for KTM and with Marc we have a true great and a superb rider on our 450 rally bike. ”

Heinz Kinigadner, senior company official, former Motocross World Champion and motorsports consultant to KTM said: “Rally needs strong characters and lots of extra motivation and Marc has proved that when things are tough he is even stronger. Today he is not only a fixed part of the KTM family but also part of our company history.”

Universally recognized as one of the finest exponents of rally sport, the Barcelona native first joined KTM to compete in the Dakar Rally in 2003, where he finished third in four stages and firmly established himself as a serous contender for what is recognized as the toughest rally in the world. Coma went on to win the Dakar in 2006 when the even was still being staged on the African continent and then again in 2009 and 2010 in its latest version through South America. He was also World Rally Champion in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010 and so far this season has competed in and also won both the UAE Desert Challenge and the Sardinia Rally.

There is a lot of buzz about the 2012 KTM two-strokes and it’s not just the sound from the exhaust. The latest news making its way to the talk boards involves Factory FMF/KTM riders Cory Buttrick and Charlie Mullins who will be making the switch to the 250 XC two-stroke motorcycles for the remaining National Enduro rounds.

Three-time National Enduro Champion, Russell Bobbitt, has been a “two-stroker” throughout his career with KTM and has won all three of his championships aboard his 250 XC race machine. After witnessing his success and trying the new 2012 models, Buttrick and Mullins have decided to give it a whirl.


Now all three Factory FMF/KTM Team riders will line up for the next AMA National Enduro round on their two-stroke race bikes. Mullins, the reigning National Enduro Champion, commented, “I can’t wait to race on the new two-stroke. After racing a four-stroke for so long, you forget how much fun the two-strokes can be. I’ve been riding it the past few weeks and can’t believe how easy it is to ride in and out of the tight trees. I feel very confident on the new bike.”

It’s no wonder the entire team is switching to the two-strokes after KTM has continuously improved the model line over the past few years. For 2012, the two-stroke machines received an abundance of chassis upgrades including a new frame, a new one-piece cast aluminum swingarm and a linkage suspension system.

For more information on the new models, please visit www.ktmusa.com.

KTM earned two spots on the podium at the eighth round of the GNCC Series as KTM support rider Nate Kanney earned 2nd overall followed by FMF/KTM rider Charlie Mullins who finished 3rd.

Both riders started the race inside the top ten and quickly moved up through the pack. Kanney and Mullins came across the first lap in 2nd and 3rd place. Mullins moved into the lead at one point early in the race before he became tangled with a lapper and lost precious time. When he recovered he had fallen to 5th place and he spent the remaining three laps working his way back onto the podium.

Kanney started 2nd and remained in 2nd to earn his best finish this season. “I love this race and am very excited to finish on the podium here. It was a tough ride today but I had a lot of fun,” remarked Kanney.

Mullins commented, “I am excited to get 3rd here. I have always had bad luck at this race and to land on the podium is great news.”

Mullins’ teammates, Kailub Russell and Cory Buttrick earned spots within the top ten finishing 6th and 8th overall.

In the XC2 class, KTM support rider Steward Baylor rode his most impressive race of the season. Baylor put his KTM two-stroke in the lead early on and went on to take a huge win. In addition to winning his class he placed 3rd in the overall combined finishes.

“My bike worked great today,” remarked Baylor. “The course was so muddy and challenging but the two-stroke handled it well. I had no issues and put in a great ride.”

Continuing her winning trend, RPM/KTM rider Maria Forsberg, took another win in the Women’s Pro class. Forsberg lead every lap of the race and went on to win by eight minutes.

Next Event: Millfield, OH – July 10, 2011

Overall Results XC1 Class –

1)     Josh Strang

2)     Nate Kanney – KTM

3)     Charlie Mullins – KTM

4)     Rory Mead

5)     Paul Whibley

6)     Kailub Russell – KTM

7)     Nick Fahringer

8)     Cory Buttrick – KTM

9)     Thad Duvall

10) Kenneth Gilbert – KTM

 

Overall Results XC2 Class –

1)     Steward Baylor – KTM

2)     Jesse Robinson – KTM

3)     Andrew Delong – KTM

4)     Zack Nolan – KTM

5)     Scott Watkins

6)     Zackery Smith – KTM

7)     Morgan Moss

8)     Justin Williamson – KTM

9)     AJ Stewart

10) Peter Weiss