Factory-supported squad becomes leading 250 class entry.
Raceline Pirelli KTM will take-on KTM Australia’s official factory-supported MX2 team duties for 2017, in just its second year in partnership with the Austrian manufacturer.
With the KTM Motocross Racing Team returning to an MX1-only program, KTM has committed its primary MX2 support to the three-rider squad of Jayden Rykers, Wade Kirkland and MXD newcomer Morgan Fogarty.
The move comes after Caleb Ward, who last year became KTM’s first factory MX2 rider since the program was re-introduced in 2013, has moved on to the MX2 World Championship full-time with 8Biano Racing Husqvarna.
“It’s a pretty big change considering we’ve only been with KTM for one year, so we’re pretty excited to step up as the official Lites program,” said Woods. “We’re also pretty pumped to keep a finger in the pie with our MXD rider development program as well. Apart from that, it’s pretty well play-on. We’ll just keep doing what we did last year, but with one extra rider and a bit more prestige.”
With the addition of MX2 front-runner Rykers, the move to MX2 from Kirkland and the added rookie energy from Fogarty in MXD, Woods looks forward to the season ahead and feels confident in his rider selections.
“Jayden, I never knew too much about, but he seems a ripper kid who’s super-young and he’s looking at the big picture,” Woods stated. “He’s no too worried about winning the battle, he wants to win the war. He’s working it all out pretty quick, so fingers crossed we can keep it up.
“I watched Morgan at Coolum when the Rookies had a hit-out and I was pretty impressed with what he did. So once Caleb Grothues got the ride in Europe, Morgan slotted in with us. He fits the Raceline credo well – he’s a very down-to-earth young bloke who keeps his head down, his mouth shut and just works. Those are the sort of riders we look for.
“Wade’s fantastic, I love him. He fits the team’s role with KTM perfectly as they get a go in MXD, do well and get a shot in MX2, but he’s huge and he’s getting huger by the day – it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in MX1. He makes his size work for him once the momentum is going, but it’s trickier getting off the line. We’ll try to stick a decent pony under him and see if we can keep him up there.”
All three riders, including former 250 SX two-stroke regular Rykers, have committed to compete aboard KTM’s 250 SX-F four-stroke machinery for the entire 2017 Motul MX Nationals calendar.