Former motocross front-runner secures factory KTM contract.
Tye Simmonds will make the transition to off-road competition fulltime in 2015 after securing a prized contract with the factory KTM Enduro Racing Team.
After scoring a debut victory at last weekend’s Head-2-Head EnduroCross in Melbourne, Simmonds will return from retirement to take on the country’s best off-road racers for a full season under the wing of off-road icon Ben Grabham.
Simmonds, 22, retired from motocross mid-season last year and took an extended layoff from the sport, however the chance opportunity to join KTM’s factory off-road effort sees his comeback take place in a far different environment to motocross.
“No-one was keen to offer me anything [in motocross] and fair enough, as I’d been out of the scene for over a year,” Simmonds explained. “We tossed up going down the privateer path again, but after what happened when I was on the Honda – we spent a tonne of money and I ended up getting injured and it was all wasted – we decided it wasn’t worth it.
“Then this deal with Grabbo popped up and it was an easy decision for us to make. He’s a super-cool dude and he’s given me a contract for next year and I couldn’t be more excited to be on one of the best off-road teams and try something different.”
Simmonds’ season will commence in February with the Enduro-X Nationals, before he also contests the Australian Off-Road Championship, 4-Day Enduro and select desert races including Finke and Hattah.
“It’s going to be a busy year and it’s all going to be new and different to me, with the exception of the Hattah Desert Race,” he added. “The Enduro-X starts in February with three rounds, then there’s the Australian Off-Road Championship, as well as Finke, Hattah and the Aussie 4-Day.
“It’s good to get back into it straight away and I can’t thank Grabbo and the KTM Off-Road Team enough for giving me a shot at it all.”
For a complete Race Recap interview with Simmonds following his EnduroCross victory, click here.