At an event in Murrieta, California last night, KTM unveiled its 2018 USA Supercross teams.
At KTM USA’s new Supercross test facility, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM teams and riders were presented along with the highly anticipated, limited quantity KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition machine in Red Bull KTM colours, which offers a range of new features and benefits.
Following on from three consecutive AMA 450 SX titles with the now-retired Ryan Dungey, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team is looking forward to a change of guard aboard the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition.
Frenchman Marvin Musquin enters his third season in the higher capacity class having enjoyed a fantastic close to 2017 by winning the million at the Monster Energy Cup event with a three-moto sweep, only previously achieved once before, followed by wins at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm event and Paris Supercross.
Musquin is joined by Broc Tickle, who won the 250 SX West Championship in 2011 and has enjoyed career podiums in both the Supercross and Pro Motocross series aboard 450 machinery. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, which is overseen by the legendary Roger De Coster and trained by Aldon Baker, is looking forward to contesting the new KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition MY2018 in the new year.
For 2018 the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM team will again serve as the springboard for the sport’s rising stars as the official KTM 250 factory team.
Going into next year the team boasts a mixture of old and new with rookie Supercross racer Sean Cantrell, rising star Jordon Smith, and a pair of seasoned 250 class veterans, Shane McElrath and Alex Martin, rounding out the team’s solid line-up.
Jessy Nelson will continue working with the team as a brand ambassador while working with the TLD amateur riders thanks to his knowledge and experience as a professional racer. Tyler Keefe will continue to oversee the team’s running while working closely with KTM with the goal of a strong assault on both 250 SX classes, as well as the outdoors series.
The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM team, which will field two riders in the 450 class for both AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross next season, as well as two riders aboard 250cc machinery, continues its association with KTM for 2018.
Following a strong season in the Pro Motocross series, where he held the points lead during some stages this season with overall wins that earned him third position by the end of the championship, Blake Baggett will once again line up on KTM machinery to contest the 450 classes both indoors and outdoors.
He is joined by Benny Bloss, who steps back up to the higher capacity class having shown great skill and incredible promise leading into his professional career.
Dakota Alix, who enjoyed fill-in rides for injured competitors aboard the KTM 450 SX-F last season, will contest the 250 SX West Coast series and outdoor 250 Motocross championship. Anthony Rodriguez from Venezuela will compete the 250 SX East Coast Championship, having enjoyed a strong amateur career in the US as well as strong results in the East Coast series over the last three seasons.
“We are incredibly proud to present our KTM factory and supported teams for the 2018 season,” said Red Bull KTM Team Manager, Roger De Coster. “With the Red Bull KTM Factory Team Marvin [Musquin] has enjoyed a strong close to 2017 and we have been working hard with Broc to give him every tool available to gel with our team and bike heading into the new season.
“We are pleased to continue working closely with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM team as our official 250 factory effort and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together with an array of riders, whilst also supporting the rising stars of the future.
“It’s also great to continue our strong association with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM team, who also have a good line-up of riders in both classes with a variety of goals for strong results and progressing their 250 effort. In addition, we have been working closely with our R&D departments in both the USA and Austria to develop the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition, which will be contested by our racers in the 450 class under the homologation rule, and has some key revisions for MY2018.”