Last year's MX2 champion returning home from world championships.
KTM Australia has officially confirmed that Luke Styke will join Kirk Gibbs on the KTM Motocross Racing Team in 2015.
The 22-year-old from Jervis Bay in New South Wales recently returned to Australia after a season spent racing in the MX2 World Championship, but will now focus on a return home in the premier MX1 ranks next season.
“This means a lot to me. I feel like the whole structure of the team and how it is run is really professional,” Styke said. “And I feel like it’s going to be a good year. I feel like I’ve got everything in line to go for an MX1 championship.
“I know most of the guys that work on the team behind the scenes and they are all really cool guys who know how to set up a bike, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Kirk was my teammate for two years at Serco and he’s a super-cool guy. He’s pretty laid back, and we race well on the track. He is going to be a great teammate next year and hopefully we can both be on the podium at the end of the year.
“Obviously he rode well this year and it’s definitely going to be a strong team next year and I feel that it will be a good environment. Europe this year didn’t go as planned for a few reasons, but I grow as a person every single year and will be able to apply what I learned with training and stuff like that this year, so I’m going to be prepared 100 percent.”
KTM Motocross Racing Team manager Rob Twyerould noted the determination and attitude evident in the 2013 MX2 motocross and supercross champion during last year’s championship battle and was pleased for the opportunity to add Styke to the squad for next year.
“Luke is an exciting acquisition for the team. Probably if he hadn’t gone to Europe, we would have spoken to him as well this year, but he’s gone and got some international experience and has come back with a pretty big point to prove I think,” Twyerould said. “Again, he’s someone that I can see has a lot of potential, has a very determined attitude, and I think will work in very well with our program.
“He’s been a team mate with Gibbsy before so they know each other and get on quite well. His riding style, nothing really sticks out from the ordinary, it was more his attitude and his determination. There were occasions when he was going through that MX2 title, where it could have gone either way. And he was the guy that put his head down and was so determined to win that title.
“So that’s what attracted me more to him, he obviously is a very fast rider but for me it was more his mental strength that I thought was his biggest asset. It’s another good advantage for us to have a New South Wales boy for testing. And obviously with it being his first year on the big bike, it will be quite a steep learning curve for him. So I think it should work quite well.”
Styke, who today takes delivery of his new KTM 450 SX-F, will join Gibbs in contesting next year’s New Zealand Motocross Championships, Australian MX Nationals and the Australian Supercross Championship.
Follow this link for a complete Catching Up interview with Styke on MotoOnline.com.au completed last week, where he first confirmed he will be returning to Australia in MX1.