It’s a new era of Dakar. After 10 years of domination by former KTM-aces Marc Coma, who retired from racing earlier this year, and Cyril Despres, there’s room for a new emerging star and KTM is excited to have yet another strong team for the notoriously tough Rally.
Mika Kallio, recently turned 33 years of age, is one of KTM’s most decorated Grand Prix riders. The Fin has posted twelve wins and another 32 podium finishes and classified as a world championship runner-up twice in five years wearing ‘orange’.
The cut-and-thrust, chop-and-change and general craziness of Moto3 is a tough playground and ‘school’ for MotoGP’s brightest young talents. Podium battles often involving up to ten riders and more are the norm on the pacey 250cc four-stroke motorcycles. How does it feel to be in the middle of it all? And how satisfying is it to emerge from an intense and stressful scrap with the taste of rostrum champagne?
KTM’s eagerly awaited entry to MotoGP kicked up a gear in early November when the gorgeous KTM RC16 made a surprise first appearance at the Red Bull Ring.
Last weekend saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing star Taddy Blazusiak racing his first event since May this year, after he was diagnosed with the dreaded Epstein-Barr virus that’s seen him sit out of all events this summer to recover.
Have more words been written about any other motorcycle racer? I know I have at least four books on my shelf and back in the 1980s I even owned a ‘Barry Sheene Annual’ that contained professional racing tips from the man himself (oh, to still have that publication).
We catch up with engine guru Dudley Cramond in the USA to find out exactly what KTM Factory Services is responsible for, and how he came to be the head of the department!