Getting to know the Raceline Pirelli KTM MXD newcomer.
At 17 years of age, Kinglake West resident Morgan Fogarty is set to make his move into the Motul MX Nationals MXD category for 2017 with the factory-supported Raceline Pirelli KTM squad. Unlike many racers though, Fogarty’s rise through to the pro ranks has been relatively short due to a slightly delayed start to his racing career.
“I got into racing with my old man, he was always into riding and he raced as a young kid,” Fogarty told MotoOnline.com.au. “A few of our mates raced and they kind of said that I should give it a crack, so I got a 65 and started racing when I was about 10.
“That’s how it all started and we’ve come a fair way from there and now we’re on the Raceline Pirelli KTM team. It’s awesome and pretty unbelievable for me actually, I didn’t think it would turn out like this but it has, so we’ll just keep moving forward and do our best.”
A highly-ranked junior contender in recent years, Fogarty made the most of his final junior season with KTM, capturing a third place in the Australian Junior Motocross Championship 125 class, along with multiple strong showings during select MX Nationals rounds in 2016.
“I did the MX Nationals junior rounds on the 125 last year and the first round I had a broken finger and only ended up around eighth overall – I was pretty bummed on that,” Fogarty said. “But at the next round I got better and took a third overall, and then at the last round in Coolum I won. I think a lot of people saw me and I think that’s where the team noticed me there.
“They did say they watched me at Coolum and they saw my results at the Aussie titles when I came away with a third on the 125. Chris [Woods] actually messaged me and asked if I had plans for 2017, so I just asked what the offer was and we started speaking. So that’s how it all came about and now I’m on one of the best MXD teams.”
Moving directly from the junior ranks as a KTM racer to a factory-backed outfit in his rookie MX Nationals season, the young Victorian will carry added confidence into the series thanks to his substantial backing from the Raceline Pirelli KTM crew.
“It’s straight away a confidence booster being on a team with a great group of guys behind us,” Fogarty explained. “Having all of that behind us is awesome, I think with all of the help they’re giving us, it’s just going to make life so much easier with travelling and everything. Just all of the support is going to make life so much easier and it will give me a lot more confidence getting the season under way.”
Fogarty will also use not only the team structure to his advantage, but his fellow teammates as well. A close friend of highly-rated MX2 contender Jayden Rykers, the MXD rookie looks forward to gaining valuable knowledge from the experienced racer.
“I’m pretty close with Rykers, he actually stayed down here with me for a little bit at my house, so we get along pretty well,” he said. “I’m sure he’ll give me a few tips and whatever else I need during the season.”
In a bid to kick off his rookie campaign on the right foot, Fogarty has aligned himself with some of the best in the sport during the 2017 pre-season to ensure positive progress is made as he moves into the professional ranks.
“The off-season has been good, I’m probably the most ready I’ve been before a season,” Fogarty commented. “I’ve been living with Ross Beaton and their family, so I’ve been riding with Jed [Beaton] and Kirk Gibbs came down for a few weeks. Also Wilson Todd has been down here too, so we’ve all been riding together and pushing each other and we’re definitely making some good progress.”
Making the move to the professional ranks for 2017, Fogarty is pleased with his progress to date and will put the final touches on his KTM 250 SX-F with the Raceline crew this week in New South Wales.
“The bike is awesome, as soon as I got on it I loved it,” Fogarty said. “I went up to Newcastle and did some testing with the team and got the bike feeling pretty comfortable to practice on. Now we’ll go back up there this week and do some more testing as well, so we’ll get the bike even better, but so far so good.”
The MXD newcomer has his sights set on success in his maiden season before making the quick move up to the MX2 category to further improve on his racing: “I’d love to be a top three contender for the whole series. I’d love to win and I know I can win, I’ve just got to put it all together and ride like I know how to ride and it should go to plan.
“I think I’ll probably do this one year in the MXD class and then try and move straight up to the MX2 class and start getting into it with the bigger boys. I think it’d just benefit my riding and everything moving up with the faster guys, so I think I’ll probably just do the one year in MXD and move up.”
Fogarty will make his official Motul MX Nationals MXD debut with the Raceline Pirelli KTM team alongside MX2 teammates Rykers and Wade Kirkland at Wonthaggi’s season-opening round on 2 April.