Originally Posted by doyle
It certainly wouldn't be unusual in motorsport to have some shakeup/team jumping in the relatively stagnant (team/rider wise) world that is moto rally. Some feel nothing left to prove. Others have caught up to KTM, like Husqvarna with a comparatively smaller effort and HRC out of the gate. Surely KTM is top of the heap, but others have caught on rather quickly. Maybe a jump to HRC gives CD a bit more of a future as he chases Peterhansel's win record? HRC wants to win and I can imagine that Henk Hellegers and Katsumi Yamazaki are under big pressure to produce results quickly.
Sam and Zanol getting hurt to the point of being out of the race can only be seen as a major failure in Japanese circles regardless of the circumstances. I would expect that the rally arm of HRC has a very small window and are on a very short leash to produce quickly. Put in that position, what would you do? Quiet, reserved Helder who is fast and smooth, but not unquestionably alien in ability or use Helder money to go after the one rider who has proven the best results over the past decade, has name recognition, and is supremely marketable?
whoa, whoa whoa...
Rewind the audio tape... before we get too far ahead of ourselves with the Bordone-Ferrari like PR superlatives Doyle
... The "others" may have caught up
(well, sniffing at their coat tails might be more like it
) but to date NOBODY has beaten KTM - at the factory level - in Rally Raid consistently or otherwise over the last 10 years. Sure Helder pulled a title a couple of years back with his Yamaha/Portugal effort, Husky/Speedbrain have taken one event win (Pharoahs) last year... and a few other semi-privateer efforts have tasted glory in the des Sertoes etc. over the last few season since formula 450 took off... but ALMOST all
of these have been when the bigboy's at KTM were away and not playing in the sandpit. But to this point in time no one has beaten
KTM head to head (the last to do so was the BMW factory effort back in 2000/2001) at their own game. So anyone jumping ship from the Mattighofen inner sanctum, must have had a heap of lettuce waved at them, cause it makes NO tactical sense as far as secuting victory goes. The events of the HRC testing in California just show how unpredictable the card table can be for those joining the game... no matter how well financially backed they are.
From a PR perspective; I think it's pretty crap of HRC... I can't see that they will get any added value (other than purely name/notoriety) from Cyril's defection (if the rumour/speculation is true).
created by leaving the orange fold after a decade, would really put a dent in his market patina/profile in my opinion. And after all, if his "used by" date comes up in two years... three at best (if he wants to chase Peterhansels record, he needs to get le' finger out... he's behind the time curve as it is), and meanwhile the gratitude, enthusiasm and groundswell that would have been created behind bringing Helder over to the HRC squad and building for the future with a new generation of rally empire... THAT would be a forward thinking program in my mind. Now they're just hiring the old emporer from the existing dynasty. A typical Japanese "copy" tactic.... and like you say; they're probably under pressure...
well history shows us how that works... they tend to prefer sneak attacks, and don't respond well under full court pressure.
I dunno what they're thinking, but it's not surprising... a lot of what they've done these last months has left me scratching my head...?
I honestly believe if this does eventuate, that they will make a "double edged down trade" by going this way... Despres loses a lot of cred in the bivouac as a long term member of the Mattighofen inner circle/family... and HRC lose (what I would imagine) would be a very appreciative, dedicated and proffessional rider; in the form of Helder... A guy who I am sure did not just take his decision to part with Yamaha/Portugal after all the years cooperation lightly... swayed most likely because he saw a long term future at HRC...?
wrote; it all seems pretty ill timed... maybe Doyle
's sources are just pissing rumours? maybe not?
Anyway, as far as Despres is concerned, I cannot see DAKAR 2013 or the rest of the season being a stellar year at KTM, if he spends the whole time looking towards the door in November...?