Road racing season is officially in full swing with all the major series’ first rounds now in the books. The KTM RC 390 R has proven to be dominant with wins in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, British Junior Supersport Championship and Junior Cup MotoAmerica Championship.
The new KTM RC 390 R experienced an incredible debut weekend (April 14-15) with victory in the first round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship when Dutch rider Koen Meuffels (KTM Fortron Junior Team) snatched glory in a photo finish at Motorland Aragon, Spain.
Released at the start of 2018 as a homologation special machine for Supersport 300 racing, the KTM RC 390 R is backed up with a dedicated Race Kit produced by KTM Customer Racing to make it a committed race machine for emerging talent. Adding to its World Championship success, the machine was ridden to further wins by Brian Hart in the British Junior Supersport Championship and by Alex Dumas in the opening round of the Junior Cup MotoAmerica Championship.
The impressive start to the eight round FIM Supersport 300 World Championship season for KTM Customer Racing was backed up with a six-rider line-up on orange machines. Meuffels stole top-step honors from fellow countryman Scott Deroue and Spain’s Mika Pérez after a thrilling dash to the line. Three KTM RC 390 R riders finished in the top 10, with Glenn van Straalen (KTM Fortron Racing Team) in seventh place and Germany’s Luca Grünwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) in ninth. Max Kappler (Freudenberg) was 15th in the final classification of 30 riders while Ryan Vos (Fortron) and Jan-Ole Jähnig (Freudenberg) were not classified.
Grünwald and Kappler made it a great weekend for Team Freudenberg with both of their riders picking up championship points in their premiere race appearance.
Meuffels ran a clever and tactical race and was perfectly placed going into the final lap. He hung with the hard-fought, nine-rider group that solidified in the second half of the race, where riders thrilled the crowd by constantly exchanging the lead. Meuffels hit the front in lap nine, rehearsing tactics for the final 11th lap, then a nail-biting charge for the finish saw him take the win by just three-hundredths of a second. The young Dutchman’s success in the first round of the season is likely to lift attendance when he goes to his home circuit of Assen next weekend for the second round as championship leader.
Meuffels, speaking in the finish area said: “Big thanks to the team and to KTM. They gave me the best bike, and my game plan worked. I’m really happy.”
More success in UK and USA
Meanwhile it was also a good weekend for KTM Customer Racing at Brand’s Hatch, UK, when KTM RC 390 R rider Brian Hart won the second of two races in the BSB Junior Supersport Championship on Saturday and was third in the opener. Hart followed this up with another third place in Sunday’s race.
In North America two other young talents and the KTM RC 390 R proved competitive, as Alex Dumas took the win in the opening round of the Junior Cup MotoAmerica Championship at Road Atlanta. Sean Ungarvsky completed the podium as third.
Overall an epic important milestone weekend for the KTM RC 390. Already well known as a superb Cup bike, the machine has now graduated to become a much-desired bike for the SSP 300 scene, thanks to the development of the model-appropriate Race Kit.