News 3 Mar 2017

KTM’s Simmonds leads three-pronged Clipsal team

KTM Australia press release:

KTM Australia’s AORC and Finke Vice-Champion, Tye Simmonds is one of three unique talents competing in this weekend’s Super Enduro-X at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar championship opener in Adelaide.

The former motocross pro who became a successful off-road and desert racer will share the awning of the Glenn Kearney-managed KTM team with two hotshots of the sport; one of whom may just be the most decorated competitor to visit the Clipsal 500.

Spanish Dakar champion Laia Sanz is a thirteen-time world trials champion, five-time world enduro champion and seven-time Dakar finisher – always as the top female.

The 31-year-old is also a highly-credentialed enduro-cross racer – although she admits the new supercross side to this year’s course won’t suit her very well as one of the few facets missing from her motorcycle CV is motocross.

Californian trials rider turned two-time AMA EnduroCross Champion Cody Webb is one of the event’s firm favourites, but the 28-year-old is quick to add that the double-sided nature of the course will throw in a wildcard.

This course combines typical and highly technical enduro-x obstacles with faster more supercross-style jump lanes, and is sure to provide a challenge to riders and a bonus to spectators.

Glenn Kearney KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager: “For this one-off enduro-x at the V8 supercars in Adelaide we’ve got a different element this year where there are lanes of enduro-x technical obstacles and lanes of rhythm supercross style jumps. Tye’s really suited to this one – he’s got the skills on both sides, and then we’ve got Cody Webb out from the USA, he’s one of the best there is in the states. He’s looking pretty comfortable even though the supercross side of it is a little different from what he’s used to over there. Laia Sanz is over and she’s going to be really good in all the enduro-x sections, but she’s not as experienced with supercross riding so she’s a little bit tentative on the big jumps. She looks quite comfortable though, so I’m sure she’ll step up and go like the boys.”

Tye Simmonds: “I’m pretty keen for the weekend. I haven’t raced since October so the urge is there! The supercross bits are fun and the enduro-x bits are hard – a lot of the boys are struggling. But we’re going alright so far. I wanted to do the Clipsal last year, but it was just too close to our first off-road round, which took a higher importance. In the 2015 enduro-x series I think I knocked myself out every round so I couldn’t risk it.

I think they said there’s over 230,000 people across the four days, so there’ll be a lot of people watching us. They got a big kick out of it last year and a big crowd, and I always enjoy racing in front of a big crowd. I sort of revert back to my supercross days in stadiums, with people everywhere. I like it. It’s a nice tight little track too, so there’s going to be a lot of bar-banging and a lot of crashes and whatnot. It’s going to be an awesome spectacle.”

Cody Webb: “It’s was pretty tricky, it’s kind of weird doing a mixture of enduro-x and supercross on the same course. II never grew up racing supercross, so my settings are a little soft. I’m trying to figure out the track and it’s pretty fun to try and find rhythm, and then also get into a tight enduro cross thing where there’s none.

I talked to a few of the other riders and they’re all kind of having the same issue. You go really fast doing a rhythm lane and you’ve got to check up and hit something really technical. The power of the bike works good here, I think it will play in my favour in all the technical bits, for sure. There’s a few guys riding well here though, so it’s going to be no easy feat to try and get a couple of wins.”.

Laia Sanz: “The track is really hard for me because it has a lot of supercross jumps, and this is hard for me because I never did supercross or motocross before. But I like the part with the stones and the more technical part. We will see today after practice. I think I need more time than one day to learn how to jump well. I’m really happy to be in Australia for this event and it’s a pleasure to be here. Toby told me before about this huge event. I will struggle a bit, but it’s nice to be here with these riders. I will try to learn how to ride this track well. I’m riding the KTM 350 like the one I ride at home in the enduro championship so that will be good here.”

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