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KTM Racing Summertime News and Rumors
KTM Racing News
Russell Bobbitt- making two stroke cool again (pic by Kato)
As we get into the mid summer doldrums there is not a whole lot of racing news to gossip about each week. Those Monday morning press releases start to slow down and therefore I have to look for filler for the website. That being the case, here is the latest gossip;
Dungey to KTM
This rumor has been floating around the intertube every since Roger Decoster came to KTM. Now the time is getting close and the chat has revved up again. Of course, it is sort of a no brainer to begin with. When Decoster turned orange, he was stuck with a real rider dilemma. The deal came with some baggage, in the form of Mike Alessi. Not that I am down talking Mike, no this is more about the time they spent together at Suzuki. Mike was in the tough position of having to play second fiddle to the emerging Dungey and the seas around the Suzuki camp got rough at times.
At that same time, Dungey was already locked into another year at Suzuki, so he was going nowhere. Now it is contract time for him and he is the only real high dollar racer over there in Brea, so I suspect Suzuki might not be able to afford him anyway. It seems KTM is just about the only player around who has money to spend. So it looks like more or less of a done deal that Ryan will come back under Decoster’s tutelage, as was always the hope from the beginning.
BTW- did you know that Ryan’s brother Jade works at KTM already? Nice guy, I got to spend some time with him at the San Felipe 250 this year.
Enduro Riders Switch To Two Strokes
That is the other sort of new dirt. The KTM AMA National Enduro Team will be exclusively 2t now. I was somewhat surprised when I heard this. KTM is probably just about sold out of the 2012 allotment of two stokes already, so they don’t really need to push the sales end of it.
I did some checking and here is the scoop. First of all, Bobbitt has always been the two stroke guy, so no change there. The fact that he is winning some races is making the bike look good too.
Charlie Mullins has wanted to race the two stroke for some time, originally he was not given the option. KTM wanted him to ride the 350 but after some initial testing, he decided the 450SXF was better for GNCC racing, but the 350 would be good for enduro. KTM really only wanted him on one four stroke, so the 450 was the choice.
Apparently, Cory Buttrick wanted to ride the two stroke all along also, but there just were not any bikes available. The all new 250/300xc models, with linkage, just arrived three weeks ago. So now, the bikes are here and expect to see all three riders with the new linkage smokers at the next round in Michigan. As for GNCC, there should be no changes.
Husaberg Two Strokes for the USA
The only other question that remains is to see if Mike Lafferty might start mixing gas again. Technically, he is not a factory rider like the other boys. He pretty much has his own factory-backed gig. Mike was one of the first guys to really jump to the new generation RFS bikes ten years ago. He made the heavy bikes go blindingly fast in the tightest of conditions. I think the ‘Berg has proved an enigma for most American riders. It must suit the Euro smooth and flowing riding style better (that makes for a great trail bike) So with Mike’s lackluster results and the coming of the new Husaberg 250 and 300, who knows maybe it will tempt him also.