News 7 Feb 2017

Rykers and Fogarty join Kirkland at Raceline Pirelli KTM

Youthful line-up made official by factory-supported KTM squad.

Image: MXN.

Raceline Pirelli KTM has finally confirmed that Jayden Rykers and Morgan Fogarty will team up with returning rider Wade Kirkland for the 2017 Motul MX Nationals across the MX2 and MXD divisions.

Rykers and Kirkland will spearhead the team in MX2, as Fogarty enters the MXD fray for his first full MX Nationals campaign, in a new-look line-up for the factory-supported team.

“It’s been a few months in the making, but we’re very excited to now be able to welcome back Wade and bring both Jayden and Morgan into the team for 2017,” team manager Chris Woods commented. “The development of riders is at the core of what we do and Wade showed last year that he has plenty of skill on a bike, which we are excited to continue to work with in the MX2 class this year.

“Jayden is a rider who has raced KTMs before and there’s no doubt that he’s fast and hungry to win. We’re hoping that with our infrastructure, that we can be a part of bringing him closer to his goals, and help him to keep building on what was a positive year last season in the MX2 class.

“Finally, junior development and bringing the next generation of riders up into senior racing is a big passion of ours and of course KTMs. Morgan was ready to make the move to senior racing this year, and we’re very proud to play a role in facilitating the next chapter of his career.

“We are thrilled to be taking on three riders in 2017 and believe that, with the support from our partners and sponsors new and old, we can put together a successful season with all three boys aboard KTM machinery.”

After claiming fourth in the MX2 national championship last season with Davey Motorsports, Rykers will switch to the 250 SX-F fulltime and aims to challenge for the championship with the added backing of Raceline Pirelli KTM.

“It feels like a weight has been lifted off myself and my family’s shoulders,” Rykers said. “The struggle is real as a privateer and to be able to have signed for 2017 with Raceline Pirelli KTM is great and now allows me to commit to racing one hundred percent.

“Last year I learned a whole list of things within myself and the bike, so to be able to have such a strong structure and team around is definitely going to allow me to make progress in those areas quicker than previous years.

“I look at every season the same and the expectation is to win a championship and be a top three guy every weekend. I think if I wanted anything less than that I would be cutting myself short for how much work myself and the team put in. We have kicked off the year strong, I have been on the bike for a fair amount of time now and with every week I am making great improvements along with setting the bike up to my needs.”

Kirkland, 17, also has high hopes for what will be his rookie season in the pro ranks: “I’m all healed up after my injury last year and I’m just stoked to have the opportunity to race with the Raceline Pirelli KTM guys again. We all got along really well last year, I love the bike and the people, so I’m really happy.

“Last year I learned a lot, even just how things were run in senior racing, it was a big change from juniors. There’s a lot of rounds of racing and anything can happen so that experience was really valuable to me, especially now moving up into the MX2 class. I’m really excited to be moving up to MX2 for 2017.

“I think jumping into that class early will allow me to learn a lot and the younger I am, the more opportunities I have to win and be the best I possibly can be. My expectations are to try and be around the top three this year, and to keep things consistent. So far things have been awesome with the team. The 2017 model has the new air forks which I’m really liking, and everything is on track. I can’t wait to go racing.”

Completing Raceline Pirelli KTM’s rider line up will be 16-year-old Morgan Fogarty. He finished in third place in the 125cc class at last year’s Australian Junior Motocross Championships and will now be making the step up to senior racing in the MXD class.

“I’m super-stoked to have signed with the Raceline Pirelli KTM team,” Fogarty said. “They’re a great group of guys and I’m keen to work more with them. I think moving up to seniors will be a great experience for me and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to race with the top riders in Australia.

“My expectations for 2017 are to be a top five to third place rider and build from there. I’m finding the team really good so far, I’m happy with my bike and I’m keen to get a lot more riding and time with the team – we all can’t wait for the season to start.”