KTM: A Full House Of Titles!
Much fuss about the fact that, with three rounds to spare, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey wrapped up his second AMA 450SX-class title last weekend. And with good reason, because Dungey now joins an elite group of riders who’ve won multiple 450SX titles. But in the wake of RD’s title win, what seems to have been glossed over to some extent – in mainstream media circles anyway – is the fact this was KTM’s first ever premier-class AMA Supercross title win. When Dungey took the Austrian manufacturer to its first premier-class AMA Motocross Championship win in 2012 – in the year he and Roger De Coster first joined the team – KTM’s milestone actually headlined most news items about the Outdoor series. KTM’s inaugural AMA SX title, however, received very little attention – outside of KTM’s own PR, that is. So, why is that?
Perhaps it’s a result of the fact that Dungey’s title win was kind of anticlimactic, seeing as he’d been streets ahead in the points chase for a majority of the season. Or perhaps it signals something bigger than that – a shift in mainstream perception; an acknowledgment that KTM is no longer a peripheral player in AMA MX and SX who occasionally punch above their weight – which, strangely, is how the American market has regarded KTM for years.
Whatever the case, we thought it was pausing to reflect on this milestone for KTM, and to hear what the guys driving their race program had to say about the achievement. After all, as KTM’s Motorsports Director, Pit Beirer, pointed out, KTM started their Supercross race department completely from scratch in 2011.
“One of my personal dreams came true today. What has been achieved in this very short time is outstanding,” Bierer explained immediately after Houston’s Main Event. “The key to everything, and I call it the best trip of my life, was my first meeting with Roger De Coster in the summer of 2010. Together with Roger, we have formed the best and strongest team you can imagine. From there, our worldwide race network has become stronger and it has been a 24-hour effort each day. With the full commitment of our R&D and Motorsports departments in Austria and the USA, we managed to create the best bike in a short time. However, we cannot perform without the best riders on our bike, which is why we are thankful to Ryan. He trusted us at a very early stage of the project. Ryan has set some major milestones for our company: first 450 SX win, first professional Motocross Championship title, and now he has brought our final goal of the 450 Supercross title.”
KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, also weighed in to comment about the achievement. “To win any world championship is an outstanding success and is of immense importance for KTM,” says Pierer. “But the US Supercross title is very special and highlights our huge commitment in the worldwide motocross sport. With tenacity, we made it to the top in this sport, which releases a vast amount of emotions. I would like to thank all those that have been involved and helped to push forward this extremely important project, and of course, I’d like to thank Ryan who has had a great season in 2015.”
Of course, the final word out must go to the bloke who has now delivered KTM these significant milestones, Ryan Dungey. “The team and I worked so hard to get to this point,” said an emotional Dungey from the Houston podium. “There are hardly words to explain how good this feels. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but my team stood behind me through it all and provided me the best bike. I am so excited for this championship but am looking forward to the next goal. We aren’t done yet.”
Indeed, they’re not. Within the month, Dungey’s teammate, Marvin Musquin, is likely to wrap up the 250SX Eastern Regional AMA SX title.