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Archive for March, 2011

Mullins and Buttrick Podium at Steele Creek GNCC

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Factory FMF/KTM Team riders Charlie Mullins and Cory Buttrick landed on the podium at the third round of the GNCC Series in Morganton, NC.

Rain the night prior had made the course quite muddy as the riders lined the start of the Steele Creek GNCC. Both Mullins and Buttrick got off to a good start coming around the first corner in 2nd and 3rd position respectively. Two spots back was the third member of the team, Kailub Russell. Three-time National Enduro Champion, Russell Bobbitt, garnered a mid-pack start and began his charge toward the top ten.

Early leader, Josh Strang, led the first lap before being passed by Mullins quickly after the first lap mark. Mullins led the next four laps of the race with Strang close behind. Mullins pit quickly on the fourth lap and maintained his lead. On the fifth lap he was passed briefly by Strang. Later that lap, Strang pit for the first time and Mullins was able to get back by. Strang popped out right behind Mullins after the pit and the two riders began a major battle for the remaining two laps. “We were side by side throughout the majority of the race but those final two laps were so close. Anytime one of us made a mistake the other was right there to capitalize on it,” remarked Mullins.

With only a few corners to go, Mullins still had a bike length lead on Strang. As they came around the second to last corner, Mullins had the hot line. Unfortunately, in the final corner Mullins washed the front end just feet from the finish line. Strang rode around Mullins to take the win while Mullins quickly recovered to finish 2nd.

“Charlie definitely had a great ride today and I know he was disappointed in his finish. It is these days that make you stronger for the next race and help you learn how to handle the pressure,” stated Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.

Finishing about a two minutes behind Mullins was his teammate Buttrick who had a strong ride to finish 3rd overall. Kailub Russell, who was as far back as 8th at the beginning of the race, moved his KTM through the pack as the race progressed to finish approximately 20 seconds behind Buttrick. Bobbitt and Nathan Kanney also put their KTM’s into the top ten finishing 8th and 9th overall.

KTM riders also had success in the XC2 class where KTM support rider Brad Bakken finished 2nd while KTM privateer Andrew Delong finished 3rd. Podium regular, Steward Baylor had a mechanical problem and finished 5th.

In the Women’s Pro class, reigning Champion, Maria Forsberg, took her second win of the season. This time the RPM/KTM rider won her race with a five minute lead over the next closest competitor.

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Short Finishes 5th and Alessi 7th at Jacksonville Supercross

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Factory Red Bull/KTM riders Andrew Short and Mike Alessi put in impressive rides at the 11th round of the AMA Supercross Series held in Jacksonville, FL with a 5th place performance by Short and a 7th place result for Alessi.

Both Red Bull/KTM riders had excellent heat races with both KTM 350 SX-F machines taking the holeshot in their heats. The #800 machine of Mike Alessi was up first in heat number one. He nailed the holeshot and took the early lead. He continued to lead for the first half of the race before he was passed on lap five. “I began to get arm pump on the fifth lap and fell off the pace a little bit,” remarked Alessi. “I was still happy to run up front for the time that I did and to finish 5th overall in the heat.”

Andrew Short followed Alessi’s start strategy and grabbed the holeshot in his heat. He led James Stewart briefly on the first lap before dropping to 2nd position. Short and Reed battled on the next two laps before Reed made the pass and Short settled into 3rd. Once in 3rd, Short hung tight to the spot and finished in that position to take a nice qualifying spot into the main event.

In the main event, Alessi duplicated his heat race start and pulled the holeshot around the first corner. Short was a few spots back in 6th position. On the first lap, Alessi and Davi Millsaps came together and allowed Short to pass into 4th. Short remained in 4th through the first half of the race before Kevin Windham made a pass on the tenth lap. Short was able to ride a consistent race through the remaining laps to finish 5th overall marking his sixth top five finish this season. Meanwhile, Alessi spent the majority of the race in 8th position before closing in on Austin Stroupe with a few laps remaining. With one lap to go, Alessi was all over Stroupe. On the final corner he cut underneath Stroupe and made the pass just in time to cross the finish. That pass moved Alessi up to 7th for the night marking his season best finish.

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Impressive warm up for KTM Enduro Factory Team at Italian Nationals in Sardinia

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Selected riders from the KTM Enduro Factory Team put in two great days of racing on the Italian island of Sardinia on Saturday and Sunday delivering performance that look very promising for the coming season.

Team stalwart Johnny Aubert won the overall competition on both days indicating that he is in top form and happy with his new bike, the KTM 350 EXC. Also performing well was Cristobal Guerrero of Spain who this season joins Aubert in the E2 class.

Johnny Aubert in winning form in Sardinia

While the wet and slippery conditions were just right for the Frenchman Aubert, the young Guerrero drew particular praise from team boss Fabio Farioli. “It was a surprise and is very pleasing to see how well Cristobal rode this weekend in these difficult conditions. Coming from Spain he is used to riding on hard, dry and rocky surfaces.”

Another good performer from the factory team was Thomas Oldrati who was third overall on Saturday and won the 250 competition in Sunday. The conditions were good for the young Italian from Bergamo and it was a good weekend for track practice ahead of the world championship season when Oldrati will be joined in the E1 class by Eero Remes of Finland. Remes did not race in Italy this weekend. Young Italian Jonathan Manze of the Farioli Team also won the junior races on both days.

Unseasonal wet weather made riding conditions challenging on both days, delivering what Farioli described as “a real Enduro”. It was wet and slippery over the rocky terrain on Saturday and overnight rain added another dimension on Sunday when the course was bogged down with mud. Riders tackled only three laps on Sunday instead of the four on Saturday and organizers also made a concession to the difficult conditions and removed one of the hardest tests for the second day of competition.

“Conditions on Sunday were much more difficult than Saturday but this weekend our riders put in some solid results and we were very happy with the performance of the bikes,” Farioli said.

David Knight, the current E3 World Champion is training in Spain and the USA and did not compete in Sardinia this weekend. The Enduro Factory riders will have another opportunity to get some track practice next weekend for one race on Sunday in Turin, Italy

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KTM Enduro Factory Team looking forward to a strong competitive season

March 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The KTM Enduro Factory Team recently presented at the World Championship Indoor Enduro event in Barcelona Spain together with the latest generation of Orange Enduro models.

Now in the countdown to the start of the official calendar of events team boss Fabio Farioli reports that the pre-season preparation has been excellent and he is looking forward to a positive racing season in 2011.

David Knight looking awesome!

“We are very positive about the 2011 Enduro bikes and our riders can hardly wait to get out on the track and tackle the competition,” he said.

Following on from a successful 2010 season Farioli believes the team has entered a new era with the new generation bikes and the current lineup of riders. After completing intensive pre-season training, including a joint session in Spain at Stefan Everts’ special facility together with the MX riders of the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing Team, the Enduro riders are looking forward to getting some competition practice under their wheels before the official start of the World Championship GP season on April 1-2, 2011.

The factory lineup shows great promise for the 2011 season and will have the first chance to test themselves on the track and against rivals during the Italian National Championships next weekend in two races on the island of Sardinia (March 12-13) and a further race in Turin, Italy on the following weekend. The only rider who will not compete in these events will be David Knight who has been training in Spain and in the USA.

Fabio Farioli: “2010 was good to us. We won one of the top titles and we had all the riders on the podium. Now this year, like every year, we start with the aim of winning all the titles. I am very hopeful about our prospects and this includes our two young riders, Thomas Oldrati and Cristobal Guerrero who both have the potential to be on the podium.”

Eero Remes of Finland and Italian Thomas Oldrati are contesting the E1 class on the 250 EXC, Johnny Aubert of France and Cristobal Guerrero of Spain will ride in the E2 class on the revolutionary new 350 EXC-F bike while David Knight will contest the E3 class on the KTM 500 cc 4-stroke. He will be joined in this class for the first three events in Spain, Portugal and France by KTM’s extreme Endurist Taddy Blazusiak of Poland who will ride the 300cc 2-stroke machine.

Taddy Blazusiak, the style master!

The team also has a lineup of riders skilled on many surfaces and terrains. David Knight excels on very rough and difficult terrain, Johnny Aubert is a great specialist on grass and slippery surfaces, Eero Remes likes sandy surfaces and is incredibly fast in the MX tests. Cristobal Guerrero shines on extremely hard surfaces like those in his native Spain and Thomas Oldrati is most at home in the typical extreme tests that are characteristic of the terrain around his hometown of Bergamo in the very heartland of Enduro in Italy. And as followers of the sport already know, Taddy Blazusiak is fearless on virtually any terrain.

Both riders and team manager are also enthusiastic about the new generation of bikes. “We’ve made a real step into the future,” Farioli said. “I can say that we have already reached the next level!”

Farioli also said that the 2011 WEC World Championship calendar offered a great range of terrain. The season starts on the Iberian Peninsula with rounds in Spain and Portugal then heads south to Italy, turkey and Greece. The calendar continues for two new events in Romania and Andorra before heading for the finale in France.

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