KTM announces professional race development program

2007-02-12 10:57
Introduces KTM Junior SX / MX Racing Team and KTM Amateur Racing Support Team.

KTM North America today announced a long-term commitment to establish a strong feeder program for its professional Supercross and Motocross teams. KTM unveiled a national initiative designed exclusively to identify, support and develop talented young racers who are competing and winning major national amateur events.

The structure begins with the KTM Amateur Racing Support Team. Racers at this beginner level are selected by KTM for their talent, race record and potential to win major national amateur championships before moving up to the KTM Junior SX / MX Team.

The KTM Junior Racing Team will cultivate and prepare these highly talented riders for a professional race career and ultimately a spot on KTM's international factory race team -- the Red Bull KTM Supercross / Motocross Racing Team.

The KTM Junior SX /MX Racing Team includes 16-year-old Tyler and 15-year old Blake Wharton from Pilot Point, Texas; and 16-year-old Derek Rogers from Ellijay, Georgia. This elite group of talented young athletes will pursue a spot on the Red Bull KTM Supercross / Motocross Racing Team. Blake Wharton won 7 titles at the Florida Mini Olympics in November 2006 in his first race on a KTM.

The KTM Amateur Racing Support Team includes 15-year-old Tommy Weeck from Canyon Lake, Calif.; 14-year-old James Justice from Columbus, Ohio; and 13-year-old Jacob Hayes from Greensboro, NC.

KTM kicked off its young racer development program by hosting an SX/MX Training Camp from January 31 to February 3. The four day event featured six riders of the KTM Junior SX / MX Racing Team and the KTM Amateur Racing Support Team.

During day one riders were introduced to KTM North American President Jon Erik Burleson and KTM North American Racing Director Kurt Nicoll. Selvaraj Narayana, Vice President of Racing and Event Promotions, conducted a meeting where the riders learned about the unique KTM story and on the company's ambitious racing goals. The riders were also introduced to representative sponsors, including FMF, Powersport Grafx and VP Racing Fuels.

Supercross Announcer Erv Braun and Dan Walsh from Upfront Communications spoke to the riders about proper interview conduct and general guidelines on how to promote sponsors.

During day two, riders met with Red Bull KTM Race Team Doctor Johnathan Edwards. Edwards highlighted proper training techniques, nutrition keeping in racing condition. The riders also had a chance to visit the gym for a few hours of physical training with Dr. Edwards.

On day three the riders met with Red Bull KTM Factory Team Manager Casey Lytle. The riders practiced proper riding and racing techniques, worked on improving lap times and received line selection tips from Lytle.

On the last day of camp riders attended the Anaheim III Supercross and got to see how the factory race team prepares and handles race day.

Source: KTM Sportmotorcycles AG

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story