KTM is here, and they're here to stay. Rumor had it that Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki was looking into signing Musquin, and they really needed his talent with Dean Wilson
departing for the 450s, Tickle already forced up, and the latest batch of amateur talent all locked up by other teams. A Pro Circuit offer is always a serious consideration for any rider, but Musquin chose to stay orange. Does that not speak volumes about Red Bull KTM's revamped program?
As for Roczen, no way KTM was letting him go, as despite a few missed opportunities for wins this year, he still has undeniable talent and potential. And KTM has an all-new motor for their 2013 250Fs. After eight years with the old mill, this one will be a huge jump forward. I saw Malcolm Stewart
on a 2013 in a demo at Loretta's, and he said the stock bike is putting out mod-level power. I expect KTM's old rep for big power in the small displacement classes to be restored next year.
And speaking of power, this team is undoutably one of them now in the 250 Class. Just a year ago, the class was a two-horse race between PC Kawi and GEICO Honda. Now there's a third squad that just guaranteed they'll be contenders for the future--and Rockstar Suzuki has made great strides as well. Looks like parity is back and here to stay in the 250 Class.
The news that KTM has inked their two 250 star riders to two-year deals is a bit of a surprise to me. And I mean it’s only a surprise because I would’ve tried to get Ken Roczen
locked up even longer than two years. Both racers are among the very best in the class and their futures look bright.
Roczen has raced almost three complete series over here after winning the MX2 World Championship and he’s gotten a ton of podiums and some wins along the way. Next year, when he knows the ins and outs of the outdoor schedule, learning to pin it right from the start of the first practice, he’ll win a whole lot more than the one moto he’s won this year. At 18 years old, he’s a future champion in the outdoors and supercross in the next year or so. The kid is that good.
Musquin’s path to this two-year deal has been a little rockier than Kenny’s but he’s shown some real good speed lately in the outdoor series and in supercross, although he can be a bit up and down, at times. And this two-time MX2 World Champion just won his first career National and I really believe he’s a better supercross racer than motocross racer. Spurning interest from Pro Circuit, Marvin chose to stay orange after the Austrian OEM rescued him from a privateer Honda team over in Europe.
Both racers have adapted really well to living in America and have embraced the way of life over here. The Moose-can and Roczen have KTM set-up strong in the 250 Class for the next two years.
Another big announcement shook the motocross landscape late yesterday evening when KTM formally announced they had re-signed two-time MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin
and 2011 MX2 World Champion Ken Roczen
to two-year contract extensions.
First, let’s applaud KTM for waiting to announce this decision after the biggest day in the manufactures history at Unadilla
nearly two weeks ago—although most everyone already knew of the decision well before. It garners ever more headlines for the KTM Lites team that may become overshadowed by the championship celebration in two weeks.
Now let’s get to the meat of the story. I like the decision all around, but what I feel is the backbone of the deal is that both Roczen and Musquin have been signed to TWO-YEAR contracts instead of the typical one and done. This gives each rider the comfort of not having to look over their shoulders next year wondering who may be next in line to replace them.
Obviously both Roczen and Musqin have quietly had their struggles in dealing with the adjustment of living in America, but they have also both shown enormous amounts of potential for future championships. With Justin Barcia
and Dean Wilson
moving up to the 450 Class next season, expect Roczen and Musquin to give Baggett and Tomac everything they can handle, both indoors and out. KTM has shown the last couple years that they are in this for the long haul and the signing of Roczen and Musquin to long-term deals only further cements that proclamation.