Originally Posted by doyle
No, as I understand it, they are developing a new/revised bike testing the EFI now. Coma is said to continue and then may move into a management or team owner role. KTM has been wildly successful in rally and they are keen to continue that but it remains to be seen how long they can hold off HRC or Husky. KTM is reacting a little late to developing new talent to replace Despres and Coma for the long term. They started with Aubert, Balooshi, and Zanol last year but I guess weren't happy with their progress. From what I gather, Aubert wanted to do Dakar again, but KTM suggested he pay the $100K customer price for a competitive ride. That says the world about how much they see him as a future rally rider.
We'll see how Caselli gets on with it. He may be great, I am not sure about his worldwide appeal for the future of KTM though. Rally is just not big enough in the US that I can see a US winner becoming a global star like Coma or Despres.
Balooshi was a local UAE KTM effort only with locally raised money and Red Bull Arabia support; all as he was a UAE National.
A good rider and well known local sportsman but never even close to say Sam ( who was employed by KTM Dubai) best part of lap down on local MX, 10 mins or more on Baja and 20 mins on a rally stage.
All the money was raised locally and paid to big brother in full for the " ride". The local KTM agency drove the effort, which was also to be for 2013, but some local politics and management changes within the dealership put paid to their "Race to Dakar"
For 2012 Honda Rally Raid allowed Sam an entry, but again funded by a local Dubai based company and mainly as KTM Dubai just could not fund more than 1 rider for 2012 and as is the way around here (no arguments) that fell to Balooshi, pretty much the same as any nation/region if you are expecting local support?
After the 2012 effort fell short on mechanicals and accidents the HRC effort was spawned/announced and presumably based on the knowledge of his ability and potential Sam was retained.
Just unfortunately the run of bad luck has still dogged him!
Now, on KTM "head office" - I believe we can assume that they have a good idea of what they are doing (and has been said it certainly isn't broke, so doesn't need fixing!) and have a development (succession) plan or plan's and between the tight knit Austrian group of KTM, Red Bull and Kini, I'm pretty sure their vision is intact - they are just not spilling the beans as yet, but with the F5peculation being what it is we will have the plan on line soon
HRC may prove the benefits of EFI and as Doyle has advised this will be an area of focus - third party developed and purchased of course and tested and developed at someone else's expense
For now the KTM effort is still far from broke, yes it may be part bent at the moment, but hey that's Motorsport and sport in general - find me an annual, bi annual or 4 yearly event when one or more top names doesn't make it through injury - a normal event, but wow it has certainly caused a shit storm in F5land