News 9 Feb 2017

'Time to shine' for Rykers in new Raceline Pirelli KTM seat

MX2 title favourite shooting for the top in revised 2017 program.

Image: MXN.

Highly-rated Western Australian, Jayden Rykers, is ready to step into the spotlight during the 2017 Motul MX Nationals series after being named part of the Raceline Pirelli KTM team in the MX2 category.

Coming off the back of a standout rookie MX2 season where he claimed fourth overall in the series as a privateer, Rykers believes it is his time to shine and become the man to beat in the hotly-contested category.

“You put the work in and the expectation is to win,” Rykers told “But with this being the first year that I’ve had support behind me to this level, with what Raceline are offering, for sure this is my time to shine.

“With the results that I got last year on a privateer deal, it makes sense that I’ll be on a higher level this year with a better bike, a better structure and a better team behind me so I would say that this is my year to win the championship and be that top guy.”

Free of the financial pressures of a privateer racer for the first time in his career, the 20-year-old is not phased by stepping into a factory-supported seat with the weight now off of his shoulders. He’s using the increased support to his advantage at this point.

“I’d say there’s actually less pressure coming in this year,” Rykers said. “When you’re a privateer you’ve got to perform and get results to be seen and get on a good team. Now that I’ve got that, it kind of takes the weight off my shoulders a little bit in terms of financially having to get around and find that extra bit of money to get the parts for the bike.

“For myself, I’ve always been pretty mentally strong and ground, so the hype of being on a well-known team is nothing, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing, and that’s riding the bike – it doesn’t add any pressure to the situation for me.”

Making the switch from the KTM 250 SX two-stroke to his preferred KTM 250 SX-F four-stroke for the upcoming season, Rykers credits his easy transition to racing both models in previous years between national and local events.

“A lot of people don’t know, but over the years when I’ve gone back home and raced, it’s generally been on a four-stroke,” he explained. “I’ve always jumped between both of the bikes and I think that versatility of being able to jump between both bikes has definitely been a positive coming into this season. I’ve been able to jump straight on the bike, get some good feedback and been able to tell the guys what it’s doing.”

Rykers’ revised 2017 program will also see him relocate from Melbourne to Sydney for multiple reasons including the unpredictable Victorian weather: “This year I’ll be moving up from Melbourne and basing myself out of Sydney.

“The main reason for doing that is with the weather in Melbourne last year we had a lot of rain, so weeks at a time I wasn’t able to get on the bike. New South Wales is also a little bit more central, it’s smack bang in the middle if I’d like to go to Queensland or Victoria it’s not too much of a drive.”

Existing Raceline Pirelli KTM rider, Wade Kirkland, will remain with the squad stepping into the MX2 class and newcomer, Morgan Fogarty, will ride alongside step into the team’s MXD seat. Outgoing MX2 rider Dylan Wills has already confirmed he will be Husqvarna-mounted with the brand new Synep Racing team.