News 6 Sep 2010

AMA MX: DeCoster confirmed at KTM as team manager

Roger DeCoster has been confirmed at KTM for next season.

Roger DeCoster has been confirmed at KTM for next season.

KTM has confirmed that Roger DeCoster will manage its factory American motocross and supercross team for 2011 after it was announced last week that he will leave Suzuki at the end of the season.

The signing of DeCoster represents a major step forward in vaulting the Austrian company into the global arena, the Austrian manufacturer looking to add an American title to its MX1 and MX2 Motocross World Championships won by Antonio Cairoli and Marvin Musquin this season.

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said the signing represented a new and exciting era for the Austrian-based company.

“The acquisition of Roger DeCoster to take over our factory team in the USA heralds a new era for KTM,” Pierer said. “We now enjoy a worldwide network and we are a real global player. Roger DeCoster is one of the great figures in the sport of motocross and we are delighted that he has agreed to manage our new team. KTM is now ‘Ready to Race’ in the biggest and most competitive motocross competitions in the world.”

Pit Beirer, who heads KTM Offroad Sports Department, said the signing of such a personality as Roger DeCoster completes the circle whereby KTM has great riders, has been enjoying unprecedented success with its latest motorcycles and now has team leaders in place that will make it a dominant force on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We are honored that we can welcome a man of Roger DeCoster’s credentials and stature into the KTM family,” Bierer said. “With him as the head of our new KTM USA factory team we will be a major force in the USA and Europe and we want to attract the very best American riders into our team. Roger has had a superb racing career and a distinguished and successful career in team management.”

DeCoster was born in Belgium and is a long time resident of the USA. Known simply as ‘The Man’ when he was racing, DeCoster was one of the sport’s most decorated riders. He was always admired for his smooth, controlled riding style and his late attacks on race leaders in a career where he won a record 36 500 cc GP victories.

He was also a Gold Medalist in the 1964 International Six Day Trial, a four-time winner of the Trans-AMA series and won the 1964 Belgian Observed Trials National Championship. Since retiring from active racing, DeCoster has been a prominent managerial figure in the USA racing scene and has also managed Team USA at the Motocross of Nations.

It’s speculated that the KTM team is now on the verge of signing a top level rider to complete its American campaign, with Aussie Chad Reed on the shortlist of riders for the 450 Class position.