(ED: Updated with a message from Cyril Despres.)
KTM introduced its 2013 Rally Racing team while bidding farewell to five-time Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres.
Despres won all five of his Dakar victories with KTM, winning in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013. He leaves the team to pursue a new challenge, with Honda rumored to be seeking his services for its newly-revived rally racing program.
Taking Despres’ place on the Red Bull KTM Factory team is American Kurt Caselli who raced in the 2013 Dakar Rally as a replacement for the injured Marc Coma. Caselli is joined by Ruben Faria, a long-time support rider of Despres’ who finished second in the 2013 Dakar Rally. Coma missed this year’s competion due to injury but has wins in 2006, 2009 and 2011 to his credit. He’ll seek his fourth Dakar with KTM in 2014. KTM will also offer full factory support to Francesco “Chaleco” Lopez who finished third at the 2013 Dakar Rally. Continue Reading »