News 16 Dec 2021

KTM Racing Team enhances two-rider motocross effort

Gibbs, Crawford to form new-look line-up entering 2022 season.

Image: Cade Media.

KTM Racing Team has uncovered a two-rider motocross effort for 2022, Kirk Gibbs and Nathan Crawford set to enhance the brand’s domestic factory presence with representation in MX1 and MX2 respectively.

Gibbs, 32, makes the switch from Honda Racing after coming into form as the 2021 ProMX season progressed to finish the condensed season with string of strong motos and fourth in the standings.

The 2015 MX1 champion and two-time New Zealand premier class champion will be looking to add a second Australian premier class crown to his collection onboard KTM machinery, equipped with the 2022 450 SX-F. This year marks his return to the brand after spending 2019-2020 at CDR Yamaha, then 2021 in red.

“I’m really, really excited to rejoin KTM for the 2022 season,” Gibbs commented. “We had a lot of great success for the six years that I was there between 2013 and 2018, I really enjoyed all of the people there and working with everyone in what was a really good atmosphere.

“Rejoining the KTM Racing Team is perfect for me, I feel right at home and I know the 450 SX-F really well, so we have big goals as we head into next season.

“I feel like I was ticking some boxes this year and we were making progress, but I think with the right support and a few little pieces that being with KTM brings, I’m confident that we can have a really successful season together.”

Queenslander Nathan Crawford, 24, will ride a KTM 250 SX-F for the first time next year, the seasoned MX2 contender looking to fight his way back to the top after finishing fifth in ProMX MX2 in 2021. He will also lean on his experience at the grand prix level from last year.

“For me it’s a massive change and it has been super-refreshing,” Crawford said. “I spent a lot of time with KTM Group support earlier in my career and I’m excited to now be joining the KTM Racing Team for 2022 – I’ve always wanted to be on a KTM!

“Everyone I’ve dealt with so far has been unreal and I’ve completed my first laps on the bike now, which was a really positive experience already. It wasn’t something that took time to get used to, the 250 SX-F is unreal and I was comfortable straight away.

“I can’t wait for the new year to come to start getting into testing and spending some more time with the team as we get everything rolling.”

The addition of an in house 250 entry for 2022 marks an expansion of the brand’s motocross program after returning with a single-rider team led by Regan Duffy in MX1 this season. It was expected Duffy would be travelling overseas prior to sustaining serious injuries in October.

KTM Group Australia motorsport manager Kyle Blunden stated: “We are delighted to announce the KTM Racing Team motocross line-up for 2022 and have a duo of exceptionally talented riders with a wealth of experience under their belts.

“We are excited to welcome Kirk Gibbs back onboard the KTM 450 SX-F, on which he previously achieved so much success. He’s as driven and focused as ever and has gelled really well with the bike in early tests. Kirk brings a vast amount of knowledge which works hand in hand with our direction as a team in 2022.

“We are re-introducing an in-house 250 program and welcome Nathan Crawford on board the KTM 250 SX-F. Nathan is a very exciting young rider with a tremendous amount of talent, raw speed and ability. We look forward to the 2022 season and are thrilled to have an amazing group of people onboard heading back to the races.”

The 2022 Penrite ProMX Championship will commence on 27 March at Wonthaggi, Victoria, marking the season-opener of the eight-round series.

Although yet to be specified by KTM, it’s expected Gibbs will be on a motocross-only contract once again, while Crawford’s arrangement should span through the Australian Supercross Championship later in the year.