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COX STORMS TO OVERALL CROSS-COUNTRY VICTORY

Image from the 2021 National Cross Country Round 5 captured by Sage Lee Voges for www.zcmc.co.za 78 of 81Brother Leader Tread KTM took top honours when leading rider Bradley Cox snatched up the overall National Cross Country Championship on Saturday. Fresh off his National Enduro E1 Championship title, the victory comes especially sweet for the multi-disciplined star. 

The nail-biting season finale took riders to Virginia Trails in KwaZulu-Natal, where a confident Cox had the home ground advantage. After a consistent performance in the OR2 Class throughout the season, a third place overall was all it took for Cox to claim the title in his class and overall. Image from the 2021 National Cross Country Round 5 captured by Sage Lee Voges for www.zcmc.co.za 39 of 81“It’s been a dream year! I’m so thankful for everyone that has been a part of my success because without their support, this wouldn’t even be possible,” said an elated Cox.

The rider’s racing dreams are only just starting to unfold as the ultimate event of them all loomslarge – the Dakar Rally. Cox has been hard at work as he prepares to step onto the international stage and represent his country in his debut Dakar event. 

With the help of Dakar legend and father, Alfie Cox, the future looks bright for the rising talent. His recent trip to Morocco to compete in Rallye Du Maroc has put the rider in good stead for the Dakar dunes. With a third place in Rally 2, Cox used the event to showcase his potential to achieve great things in the sport. Image from the 2021 National Cross Country Round 5 captured by Sage Lee Voges for www.zcmc.co.za 79 of 81While the season didn’t unfold as Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate Charan Moore had hoped, the rider describes feeling grateful to share in the team’s successes. Moore had a tough day in the saddle on Saturday after a crash set him back by almost 50 minutes. 

“It’s been tough year for me with a whole bunch of bad luck. The race started off very tentative in the conditions, but I got into a good flow and worked my way back into the top ten. I had a crash in the dust and the bike slid off a steep mountain ridge, I was so stuck that I spent almost 50 minutes getting back up to the track!” commented Moore. Image from the 2021 National Cross Country Round 5 captured by Sage Lee Voges for www.zcmc.co.za 16 of 81While he was frustrated by the event, he is more determined than ever to come back stronger next year. He said, “It's been a difficult year for me personally but I’m happy to share in the team’s success and be a part of such a great family. I am so motivated to come back fitter, stronger and ready for 2022. This season taught me resilience and to keep going and push through, even when things don't go your way!”

Like Cox, Moore will represent South Africa as he makes his debut in the Dakar Rally next year. It’s full steam ahead for the rider as he shakes off his disappointment and prepares to race for the greatest title of them all – a finisher’s medal at the prestigious event. end bike test

MATTHIAS WALKNER CLINCHES KTM’S THIRD CONSECUTIVE FIM CROSS-COUNTRY RALLIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Matthias Walkner 2021 FIM Cross Country Rallies World ChampionRed Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner has taken KTM’s third consecutive FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship with a second-place finish at the Rallye Du Maroc aboard his KTM 450 RALLY.

Austrian racer Walkner had a 20-point advantage at the top of the championship standings heading into round four of five in the series, and knew he had to put in a strong performance in order to clinch the title in Morocco. Walkner took the lead of the rally on stage two before falling foul of a tricky note in the road book on stage three. The 2018 Dakar winner came back fighting to narrowly miss the stage victory on stage four ahead of the final day. Matthias Walkner Rally Kazakhstan 2021 On the fifth and final day, Walkner knew exactly what was needed of him over the 166km timed special to score enough points to claim the 2021 world title. The KTM racer finished eighth for second overall, securing his second FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The victory is KTM’s third consecutive win in the series with Toby Price and Sam Sunderland earning the 2018 and 2019 titles, before the 2020 series was cancelled due to the global pandemic. KTM has taken the championship honors six times from the last nine seasons of competition. 

Of the three rounds raced of the series so far, Walkner has shown incredible consistency, finishing as runner-up at the high-speed Rally Kazakhstan, before taking the win in the contrasting conditions of the epic Silk Way Rally, less than one month later. Now, with another top-two result in Morocco, the experienced 35-year-old has shown he is clearly on form and will now be aiming to carry his winning momentum into the final round of the series at Abu Dhabi before focusing on the 2022 Dakar next January. Matthias Walkner 2021 FIM Cross Country Rallies World Champion 1Matthias Walkner: “It’s been a super cool rally for me (in Morocco). I set out this morning hoping to take the win, but I made a small mistake about halfway through that only maybe cost me a minute, but it was enough on the shortened stage to lose out. Second place is great though and to win the world championship title early is amazing. The team have been great all year, so a big thank you to them. It’s time to relax now and really enjoy the moment.” end bike test

Aegerter Crowned 2021 WorldSSP Champion in Argentina

Yam champTen Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter was crowned the 2021 FIM Supersport World Champion at San Juan, after finishing third in Sunday’s dramatic race. Steven Odendaal lost his chance at taking the title fight to Indonesia, after the Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team rider was taken out of contention at Turn 1. Meanwhile, GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel completed his first-ever double victory in the championship.

With pole position, fastest lap and a pair of wins, Cluzel enjoyed a perfect weekend at the Circuito San Juan Villicum. The French rider won by almost five seconds on Saturday, but had to fight hard with the Kawasaki of Can Oncu in Race 2. Cluzel was able to edge clear in the closing stages to take his fourth win at the Argentinian venue.

Aegerter headed into this weekend with a 54-point lead in the championship, but could only manage fifth in Race 1, finishing just behind title rival Odendaal. The Swiss rider now needed to outscore Odendaal by two points on Sunday, and after the South African fell at Turn 1, it all-but guaranteed that the 2021 rookie would be crowned champion. He fought to a third-place finish, his 14th podium of the season, and became Yamaha’s ninth and the team’s 10th WorldSSP champion.

After being collected at Turn 1, Odendaal was still able to pick up his bike and continue, but while making his way back into the points-paying places, the 28-year-old fell and was forced to return to the pits with damage.

ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez had qualified in third on Saturday, and fought his way through to a second-place finish in Race 1, his seventh podium of the season. In Race 2, however, he lost the front on the way into Turn 1 and collected Odendaal’s bike. The Spanish youngster was able to continue and climbed back to a 10th-place finish.Yam champ2Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer was 12th in Race 1, but was able to score his best result since returning from injury, finishing fourth in Sunday’s race. Evan Bros Yamaha’s Peter Sebestyen also enjoyed his strongest weekend yet, with eighth on Saturday and fifth in Race 2.

GMT94 Yamaha’s Valentin Debise was sixth in both races, finishing ahead of Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala in Race 2. The Estonian also managed his best WorldSSP weekend to date, with 10th on Saturday and seventh on Sunday.

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Leonardo Taccini was 11th in Race 2, while Yamaha MS Racing’s Unai Orradre scored a pair of points finishes, with 13th in yesterday’s contest and 14th on Sunday.end bike test

25 LUCKY KTM RC 8C OWNERS TAKE DELIVERY AT JEREZ

RC 8C Customer Event Jerez 6It took a mere 4 minutes and 32 seconds for all 100 ultra-exclusive KTM RC 8C track bikes to sell out via KTM’s digital sales platform, with 25 of those buyers opting to take delivery under the watchful eye of Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio at Jerez.

Unlike anything before it, the KTM RC 8C is a hand built, lightweight racing prototype that uses the familiar 889 parallel-twin engine from the KTM 890 DUKE R in a bespoke, track-ready chassis, bristling with high-end racing componentry. RC 8C Customer Event Jerez 1Only 100 of these ultra-exclusive track weapons were made available to the public, with 25 exclusive handover packages offered, allowing 25 lucky customers to opt-in for a private KTM RC 8C Track Experience with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test riders Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio, and individual race set up by master WP suspension technicians. 

The 25 customers arrived at Jerez on 7 October 2021 and had the opportunity to watch an official Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test session from a VIP spectator box, followed by a private dinner with members of KTM Motorsport, as well as Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio. RC 8C Customer Event Jerez 7October 8th was the day everyone was looking forward to, with the 25 KTM RC 8Cs already having been pre-run in, it was time to get the new owners accustomed to each of their own machines. 

With Riaan Neveling and Markus Kramer giving each customer a concise and thorough breakdown of the KTM RC 8C, the riders were subject to a rider briefing by Dani and Mika, who set out the day’s proceedings. RC 8C Customer Event Jerez 3One of our Orange Bleeders took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, surrounded by KTM RC 8Cs and in the perfect setting, to propose to his girlfriend. Obviously, she said YES! 

With 6 pit boxes pre-prepared, with the 25 KTM RC 8Cs lined up in the same order in which they were ordered online, the doors opened simultaneously, giving the 25 lucky owners the first eyeful of their new machines. RC 8C Customer Event Jerez 4What followed was a few laps led by Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio, with a grid start in the same order. The riders spent the rest of the day on track getting to grips with their race bikes, with Dani and Mika providing one-on-one sessions to whoever needed them.

The day ended with dinner, allowing everyone to share their stories and bringing a close to another successful, exclusive KTM experience. 

Click here to see what transpired in Jerez and what the lucky 25 got up to.RC 8C Customer Event Jerezend bike test

Yamaha Launches Brand New R7 European Series and SuperFinale Event in 2022

2022 YAM YZF700R7 EU GYTR ACT 008Yamaha Motor Europe is excited to announce a unique racing event in 2022, featuring the all-new Yamaha R7 Supersport bike. The Yamaha R7 Series European SuperFinale will take place during one of the final rounds of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship and will feature the 30 top riders from the national R7 Cups and Challenges organised by Yamaha's branches across Europe.

Fast, agile and featuring the same aggressive styling as its R Series stablemates, the 689cc twin-cylinder Yamaha R7 combines sports performance with everyday fun, while the availability of GYTR performance parts designed specifically for the bike make it an ideal base model for racing.

The Yamaha R7 Cup series, which will debut in 2022 across Europe, will be managed by Yamaha branches and has been designed specifically to offer a cost effective and accessible racing series for both existing racers, and for those riders looking to make the move from track days to a more competitive arena, but one with the same sense of community.The 30 riders who impress in the various Yamaha R7 Cups will be invited to the R7 Series European SuperFinale at the end of the season, which will be held during one of the last European rounds of the FIM Superbike World Championship. The riders will complete practice and qualifying on the Friday, before taking to the track for two races on Saturday.

But the Yamaha R7 Series European SuperFinale is not just about the racing, it's also about creating memories for the participants that will last a lifetime. As well as sharing a paddock with the stars of WorldSBK, the SuperFinale riders will get to meet and chat with Yamaha's riders in all three World Championship classes. Yamaha staff will be on hand to offer coaching and advice to all the riders, who may also find themselves lining up on the grid for the two races alongside some well-known faces.

The location and date of the Yamaha R7 Series European SuperFinale, as well as the calendars for the various R7 Cups in each European country, will be announced at in the very near future.2022 YAM R7 PRESS EU GYTR STATIC 003Paolo Pavesio: Director, Marketing and Motorsport, Yamaha Motor Europe

"The concept behind the national R7 Cups and the R7 Series European SuperFinale is different to that of our other racing series, in that they are not designed specifically for young racers looking to progress up the racing ladder. Instead, they are designed to be cost effective and accessible for those riders who want to race primarily for fun or to step up after participating in track days. The goal is to create a series with a real community spirit, one that feels welcoming to riders whatever their age or background. A series and an event in which Dad can race alongside his kids, or friends can compete to finally prove who is the fastest. But while it's as much about enjoyment as it is about racing, we're sure that we're going to see some real competition on track as riders race to secure a place on the Yamaha R7 Series European SuperFinale grid at the end of the season!"2022 YAM R7 PRESS EU GYTR ACTION 002end bike test

THE 2021 EUROPEAN KTM ADVENTURE RALLY DELIVERS THE GOODS IN GREECE

KTM ADVENTURE RALLY 2021// 150 participants and KTM staff attended this 4th edition of KTM’s community event
// Participants completed close to 700 km over three days of offroad riding in Greece
// The event welcomed self-navigating adventurers riding alongside guided group riders
// From gravel roads to enduro-style trails, attendees lived a pure READY TO RACE experience

Back to action following its postponement last year, the fourth edition of the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY provided 150 KTM riders, KTM ambassadors and KTM staff coming from over 20 countries with a READY TO RACE community event that included breath-taking rides in some of the most epic and challenging terrain Greece has to offer.KTM ADVENTURE RALLY 2021 1Rolling out from the event’s basecamp in the beachside town of Nafpaktos, participants were treated with three long and challenging days of riding in changing mountainous terrain. The first day of offroad riding saw attendees head toward the historic destination of Delphi through a series of mountain peaks and valleys. For the second day of riding, participants had to cross the Corinth Canal as they headed towards Kalavryta.

On their way back to Nafpaktos, riders were provided with the option to climb a rocky and somewhat extreme uphill section of a few hundred meters. Challenging as it was, this section quickly became the source of many epic stories with participants trying out their skills on their way to the top. Heading towards the north for offroad day three, participants ventured through a network of forest roads towards the village of Ano Chora.KTM ADVENTURE RALLY 2021 2Guiding the groups of orange bleeders were KTM R&D Street Test Manager and four-time Baja 1000 winner, Quinn Cody, together with six-time Enduro World Champion Giovanni Sala among other KTM ambassadors and KTM staff from Mattighofen, Austria.

A KTM ADVENTURE RALLY is for those who want to fully embrace the KTM READY TO RACE spirit while riding their bikes in incredible surroundings. It’s an opportunity to form lasting friendships and create unforgettable memories with likeminded riders – including KTM ambassadors and employees.KTM ADVENTURE RALLY 2021 3A wide selection of images from the 2021 European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY are available here.

FOR MEDIA: The 2021 European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY recap video is available to embed here.

Discover more about KTM ADVENTURE RALLIES at www.ktm-adventure-rally.comend bike test

Odendaal Strikes Back for WorldSSP Race 2 Victory at Portimão

steeveIn yet another blockbuster battle for victory in the FIM Supersport World Championship round at Portimão, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal came out on top in Race 2, with yesterday’s winner, GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel and Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Federico Caricasulo joining him on the podium.

After finishing sixth in Race 1, where he was unable to make an impression on the lead battle until late in the race, Odendaal made a superb getaway from seventh on the grid to run fourth at Turn 1. By the time lap two came around, the South African had hit the front, but what followed was another thrilling fight involving several riders.

Odendaal, Cluzel, Caricasulo, ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez and Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter all took turns at the front of the field, with the slipstream along the start-finish straight proving to be crucial throughout the 17-lap contest.

On the penultimate lap, Odendaal was running second, but dived down the inside of Cluzel on the final run towards Turn 1. The French rider pushed hard, but in the end Odendaal was able to just hold him off on the run to the line to take his first victory since Most.

After a sensational first win since Argentina 2019 in Race 1, Cluzel was once again in the lead battle on Sunday. The GMT94 Yamaha rider found himself outside the top five halfway through the race, but recovered to finish second, just 0.011s behind Odendaal, which saw the result decided by a photo finish.

Following a difficult first race, Caricasulo asserted himself into the lead battle early on in Race 2 from eighth on the grid. The Italian was up to third on the last lap, coming under pressure from Gonzalez behind, but was able to hold him off to take his first podium since returning to the WorldSSP championship this year.

Spanish youngster Gonzalez was second in yesterday’s race and was once again battling amongst the podium places throughout Sunday’s event. The 19-year-old eventually finished fourth, just 0.625s behind the race winner, further solidifying his third position in the championship with two rounds to go.

Aegerter was also in the fight, trying to improve on his third position from yesterday, but found himself forced wide into Turn 1 with two laps to go. The championship leader was unable to recover the lost time and eventually finished fifth.

On his maiden WorldSSP weekend, Yari Montella impressed for the GMT94 Yamaha team. The Italian was 10th in Race 1 and hung onto the lead battle for much of Sunday’s encounter, eventually finishing sixth, ahead of CM Racing Team’s Randy Krummenacher.

Evan Bros Yamaha’s Peter Sebestyen enjoyed a solid weekend in Portugal, backing up his 11th-place finish from Race 1 with a strong ride from 16th to ninth in Race 2. Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer took a pair of 13th place results in both races, while his teammate Vertti Takala was 19th on Sunday.

Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Galang Hendra Pratama was 21st in Race 2, with Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha’s Maria Herrera unable to make the same progress as she did yesterday (27th to 18th), and crossed the line in 23rd.

Yamaha MS Racing’s Unai Orradre had a big high side on the exit of Turn 1 in Race 2, and is currently being assessed at the medical centre.

Steven Odendaal: P1

Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team

“It’s very nice to be back on the podium, never mind the top step. Today was a fantastic race, I enjoyed it a lot. It was a great battle, but it wasn’t easy. We had a good Warm Up in the wet, but the race was dry and there were some damp patches at the start. I had a steady start, but then I realise I need to push. Really happy that the team could give me a bike that could win. There’s still 100 points left in the championship but to be honest I just want to have races like we did today. Argentina will be difficult as not many of us have been there, but I think the team have some good data so we’ll see how it goes.”end bike test

1961-2021: 60 years of World Grand Prix racing for Yamaha

01Racing has been an integral part of Yamaha’s DNA from the day that the factory was incorporated on 1 July 1955. At the time, the company proved its products on the racetrack just days after Yamaha Motor Company was founded, when the YA-1 won the Mount Fuji Ascent Race at its very first attempt on 10 July.

Spurred on by this success, Yamaha entered its first international race at Catalina, USA in 1958. By now, the company was developing some of the most competitive two-stroke machines, and the decision was made to experience the ultimate test of rider and machine by entering the 250cc RD48 race bike in the World Championship Grand Prix round in France in May 1961. Competing at the highest level put the company firmly on the map and marked the beginning of the brand’s transformation into one of the world’s most successful and innovative motorcycle manufacturers.R3 TRACKJust two years after Yamaha’s debut GP, Fumio Ito took the brand’s first ever GP win on the RD56 at the Belgian Grand Prix, and the company has never looked back since that day. 1964 saw Yamaha win its first World Championship as well as its first Constructor’s title with Phil Read in the 250cc class, the first of many victories in that decade. It was the beginning of an incredible journey for everyone involved in the company’s race programme, and during the past 60 years Yamaha has established itself as one of the most successful manufacturers with over 500 Grand Prix race wins, along with 38 rider titles, 37 constructor titles and 7 team titles.

Speed block: Yamaha’s historic racing colours

In 1964 the competition department debuted their 250cc Grand Prix racer with a new white fairing with a solid red stripe and red front fender. It proved to be a good omen, and factory rider Phil Read went on to win Yamaha’s first ever world title.R1 RIDEThis bold, simple and dynamic red/white colour scheme soon established itself as the instantly-recognisable Yamaha look in Grand Prix road racing, and was the forerunner to Yamaha speed block: arguably the most famous and best-loved colour scheme ever featured on a racing motorcycle.

A white fairing with red speed block rapidly established itself as the definitive Yamaha racing colour scheme in Europe for the next two decades right through to the Rainey and Lawson era. The incredible public reaction to the recent unveiling of the factory M1 with its special 60th Anniversary speed block colours demonstrates that it is one of the company’s most evocative colour schemes that is popular with riders and fans of all ages. Simple, dynamic, timeless and instantly recognisable, speed block will forever be associated with Yamaha and its highly successful GP campaigns from a very special era in the company’s history. R1 TRACK

New R-Series World GP 60th Anniversary models

To celebrate Yamaha’s long and illustrious Grand Prix racing history, the company has created a World GP 60th Anniversary livery for the 2022 R1, R7, R3 and R125 models.

Just like Yamaha’s famous World Championship winning machinery, the World GP 60th Anniversary R1, R7, R3 and R125 feature pure white bodywork with a strong horizontal red stripe and white vertical lines creating the red speed block. This authentic race bike colour scheme features an all-red front fender and gold-coloured wheels just like winning Yamaha’s factory bikes, and this timeless look is completed with a yellow front number plate, an anniversary emblem and a red stripe running along the top of the fuel tank and the tail.

Since Yamaha made its GP debut in 1961, the company has achieved over 500 Grand Prix race wins with legendary riders including Read, Ivy, Saarinen, Agostini, Roberts, Lawson, Rainey, Lorenzo and Rossi, and more recently Quartararo – and these historic racing colours highlight the connection between Yamaha’s race bikes and every R-Series model.

World GP 60th Anniversary model highlights

White bodywork with red speed block graphics

Special 60th Anniversary emblem

Red stripe along top of tank and tail

Red front fender

Yellow front number plate

Golden wheels

R1 World GP 60th Anniversary highlights

S R1

998cc, 200PS, crossplane, 4-cylinder engine

Highly advanced electronic control systems

6-axis IMU with Gyro/G sensors for 3D motion data

Power Delivery Modes (PWR)

Banking sensitive Traction Control (TCS) / Slide Control (SCS)

Quick Shift System (QSS)

Two-mode brake control (BC) cornering ABS

Three-mode Engine Brake Management (EBM) system

Ride-by-wire APSG throttle

Short wheelbase aluminium Deltabox frame

Upward truss type swingarm/magnesium rear frame

Magnesium wheels and 17-litre aluminium fuel tank

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD instruments

M1-style bodywork02

R7 World GP 60th Anniversary highlightsS R7

Compact, high-torque, 689cc, CP2 crossplane technology engine

Ultra-compact design with pure R-Series DNA

Highly aerodynamic full fairing with aluminium lower cover

High specification inverted 41 mm front forks

Link-type Monocross rear suspension with newly designed shock

A&S clutch

Lightweight tubular frame with aluminium centre brace for tuned chassis rigidity

Clip-on handlebars and lightweight rearsets with stylish heel guards

Sporty and adaptable tucked-in riding position

Aggressive R-Series twin-eye face with LED position lights

Powerful central LED headlight

Lightweight 10-spoke cast alloy wheels

Radial mount front brake calipers with Brembo radial master cylinder

Supersport cockpit design with full LCD instruments

Central M-shaped front air duct

Powerful 298 mm front and 245 mm rear brakes

Slimline 13-litre fuel tank with deeply sculpted knee indents

R-series style tail

120/70 front tyre, 190/55 rear tyreR7 RIDE 2

 

R3 World GP 60th Anniversary highlightsS R3

Ultimate Yamaha lightweight supersport

High-revving 321cc inline 2-cylinder liquid cooled DOHC 4-valve EU5 engine

Compact and lightweight, high-tensile tubular steel chassis

Radical M1 MotoGP® inspired styling

R1 style dual LED headlamps and position lamps

Sculpted fuel tank and low handlebars for excellent sports ergonomics

37 mm inverted front forks and Monocross rear shock

Multi-function LCD instruments with easy-to-read displays

Refined performance with outstanding reliability and excellent economy

Balanced 50/50 weight distribution for agile handling

R-series DNAR3 RIDE

R125 World GP 60th Anniversary highlightsS R125

High-tech 125 cc EU5 engine with Variable Valve Actuation

Excellent combustion efficiency

Compact Deltabox frame

Lightweight aluminum swingarm

Assist & Slipper (A&S) clutch for optimum controllability

R-series LED twin-eye body design

11-litre fuel tank

M1 MotoGP-inspired cockpit layout

High-visibility LCD instruments

Sporty and comfortable riding position

Wide 140-section rear tire

Outstanding braking performanceR125 RIDEend bike test

KTM ULTIMATE DUKE RIDER FINALISTS SHOW THEIR METTLE IN AUSTRIA

Ultimate Duke Riders 2021The digitally-led 2021 ULTIMATE DUKE RIDER campaign asked riders to show the world why they deserved the title by uploading a maximum of 4 photos or videos on social media and starting your caption or description with “I’m the #UltimateDukeRider because…”

Over 1500 DUKE-riding hopefuls uploaded their entries, showing everything from elbow-dragging track antics to telling epic video stories. But in the end, 10 DUKE riders from all walks of life made the final cut and were asked to meet in Salzburg, Austria.Ultimate Duke Riders 2021 1While many had to navigate international airports, PCR tests, and vaccine certificates in order to board flights, others simply saddled up their own motorcycles and hit the road. One finalist even delayed his engagement party to be a part of it, which perfectly illustrates the dedication shown by DUKE riders.

After jumping many hurdles, the ULTIMATE DUKE RIDERS arrived in Austria on the 9th of August and settled down for the night in preparation for an epic few days on the road that would cover over 1800 km.Ultimate Duke Riders 2021 4The morning of the 10th saw the group head to Mattighofen for a private tour of KTM Motohall, with KTM legend Jeremy McWilliams and Dakar hero Joey Evans in tow. It’s fair to say that the experience blew them away, with both McWilliams and Evans talking the finalists through the finer details of their favorite machines.

The 11th of August saw the finalists saddle up and hit the long road towards the Pannonia-Ring in Hungary. The route would see the finalists traversing some of Europe’s finest mountain passes, aboard a fleet of KTM DUKES. The next day, and under the watchful eye and guidance of DUKE maestro Jeremy McWilliams, the riders headed out on track to learn from the very best. With many finalists having never been on a track before, they quickly got up to speed and were soon pushing respectable lap times.Ultimate Duke Riders 2021 5Another 330 km led them to the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, where the finalists had the opportunity to mingle with KTM top brass in the VIP area of the KTM Grandstand, watching the best in the world during free practice and qualifying.

Sunday saw the weather being temperamental, with a rain-soaked main race that will go down in the history of Grand Prix racing, spectacularly finished off with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder crossing the line in first place.Ultimate Duke Riders 2021 7The finalists saddled up once again for a 255 km ride back to Mattighofen the following day, bringing a close to an epic week and one that these ULTIMATE DUKE RIDERS will never forget.

For the full event video and see what our ULTIMATE DUKE RIDERS got up to, click here.end bike test

KTM EXPRESSES SINCERE THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ANTONIO CAIROLI FOR A PHENOMENAL MX RACING CAREER

Antonio Cairoli 1// Antonio Cairoli is in the running for a 10th FIM World Championship in 2021
// #222 has won 6 out of his 9 FIM World Championships on KTM machinery
// Cairoli has amassed 93 GP victories and 177 podiums to-date
// The Italian will provide his expertise in key segments within the KTM group for the future

Antonio ‘Tony’ Cairoli announced his plans at a special press conference alongside KTM management in Rome, today. The Italian will bring down the curtain on a glittering world championship career in which he has become statistically the second most decorated rider in the history of the sport and the greatest racer from his country to have thrown a leg over a motocross machine.Antonio Cairoli 2Importantly, Tony gave KTM a first premier class crown in 2010 (his fourth and second in MXGP). He followed the achievement with a further four titles – all with the KTM 350 SX-F – before triumphing again in 2017 with the KTM 450 SX-F. Together with Claudio de Carli and his loyal technical crew, Cairoli has been a mainstay of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, image and development program since that first 2010 season. He has won at least one Grand Prix in all his 18 terms.

Currently, Tony is still very much in the mix for a coveted 10th FIM World Championship title. Prior to this weekend’s FIM MXGP of Sardegna (ITA), Cairoli has accrued one win and five podium finishes from the nine rounds of 2021 MXGP. He is third in the standings and only 29 points from the top of the table.Antonio Cairoli 3Cairoli’s contract extension with the KTM family means that the Italian will provide his expertise in various segments and potential future endeavors within the KTM group, all with the aim to continue developing the sport of Motocross for all audiences.

Tony Cairoli: “This is not an easy decision. I’ve always said that numbers and statistics did not mean that much to me. I think it was an achievement for me and my family to win one world championship so to have had a career like this is very special. I feel that it is the right time to stop. Everything around me makes it seem like the right decision, and we are still trying to win the title this year, so the motivation is high for this challenge. I want to thank all those who have helped me and supported me since I came to the world championship, and all along the way actually. There have been many faces and names and of course all the excitement and love from the fans. I have felt very much part of the KTM family from day one and we will continue our work and relationship together, but now in a different way. There is a lot more to do in life after 2021 but for now our goal is very clear.”Antonio Cairoli 4

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “Our story started in an impressive way because when Tony came to KTM when we still hadn’t won a title in the premier class and we were also developing the KTM 350 SX-F, so it’s like there were two challenges to conquer! To then win five consecutive championships and establish the 350 concept was a big milestone for us. Over the years the relationship became closer and the friendship grew even more. A lot of our success both in the U.S. and in MXGP arrived because of those first years with Tony and the belief that he had in us and the vision for the future. It’s something we didn’t forget and we won’t forget.”end bike test

 

 

 

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