KTM rolls out new KTM 450 Factory Rally
The highly anticipated 2014 model of the KTM 450 Rally bike is set to make its competitive debut at the OilLibya Rally of Morocco
KTM’s official Red Bull KTM Factory Team manager Alex Doringer has confirmed that the bike will run at the OilLibya Rally which runs from October 13-19. The race is the final round of the 2013 FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship.
The team, already in Morocco to conduct final tests and settings refinements will first test the bike under race conditions in the opening stage on Monday October 14. Onboard the latest version of the new bike will be multi Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma of Spain, American Kurt Caselli, who made his Dakar debut in 2013 and factory team stalwart Ruben Faria of Portugal.
The KTM 450 Rally bike is a completely new version from the ground up. The intention was to produce the best possible bike to allow the KTM Factory Team to go for another Dakar victory in January 2014. The motorcycle class of the Dakar Rally has been safe in KTM’s hands for the past 12 editions.
The Austrian manufacturer has also registered three successive wins through Coma and Cyril Despres since Dakar Rally organisers reduced the displacement size of the premium class rally bike to 450cc three years ago.
The Morocco Rally represents the KTM factory team’s final tests ahead of the 2014 Dakar Rally and will also decide the 2013 World Champion. KTM’s Coma is the title holder and starts with a narrow three-point lead over rival Paolo Goncalves of Portugal. Coma won the first three rallies (the Desert Challenge in UAE, the Sealine Rally in Qatar and the Sardinia Rally in Italy).
He placed second in the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina and was third in the Brazilian leg, the Dos Sertoes.
The OilLibya Morocco Rally 2013 takes a field of 74 riders over 1517 km of selective sections and 534 km of liaison in six stages of challenging desert and sand dune conditions. Coma, as championship points leader, starts with number one.
Meanwhi,le, KTM Australia’s King of the Desert, Ben Grabham, has already commenced the lead-in to his 2014 Dakar Rally effort, and this weekend he will face the starter for the sixth and final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Fresh from a training camp in Spain involving multiple World Champion Marc Coma, KTM Off-Road Team racer Grabham will now contest the OIlIBYA Moroccan Rally (October 12-19).
I arrived in Morocco yesterday for some bike testing and set up after three days training on navigation, said the 31-year-old Bathurst ace. “Now I understand why Coma is so good at rally racing. It was certainly tough but it was a priceless opportunity to hook up with someone of his calibre and just take in as much possible.
KTM have a great rally bike and I’m feeling good; it’s just a matter of me learning how to read the maps and understand what to do and when. That’s where this is a great opportunity, to be under the tent with the factory boys like Coma, Farrier and Casseli will be a priceless experience and I wouldn’t get this opportunity with any other brand.
I’m pretty excited to be honest. It’s kind of the last piece of the puzzle to make a push at Dakar and see what I can actually do, Grabham added.
Grabham is Australia’s most decorated current off-road racer, and his incredible recovery from the serious spinal injury he suffered early in 2012 is nearly complete.
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Published. Wednesday, 9 October 2013
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