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Old 03-11-2013, 01:31 PM   #1830
doyle's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Off Piste
Oddometer: 23,709
Originally Posted by too old View Post
+1 - less than 4 weeks to the Desert Challenge and little or no news on the key teams and players
So a little digging leads me to clarify some things. First of all, both Paulo Goncalves and Joan Barreda are contracted to Speedbrain and not BMW Motorrad as I originally stated. I was wrong there. So all that means is that for the most part, the riders break camp with Speedbrain instead of remaining tied to BMW. I have verified with Quinn Cody that his contract runs through 2014, but I have not heard from him whether his contract is with BMW or Speedbrain, but I guess I suspect now it is with Speedbrain a la Goncalves and Barreda.

It looks like Speedbrain will go it alone for a while, breaking free from both BMW and Husqvarna. Most of the bike engineering rights are held by them anyway and the bike looks like it will be homologated as a Speedbrain 450RR. The question remains as to the long term engine supply. I hear the Speedbrain guys are pretty happy doing everything in house rather than relying on Italy for the engine supply, but how this figures into the long term is yet to be determined.

Riders are contracted to Speedbrain through Dakar 2014, I suspect Speedbrain has enough engines on hand for this season and the next Dakar, but essentially what they become is the perfect setup for a manufacturer that wants to get involved with a turn key program. Rebrand the bikes and they are good to go, nearly.

Another tidbit I hear is that KTM has resigned Ruben Faria. This may be another shot over the bow of Cyril Despres. It's a smart move for Faria being that unless Despres could assure him a rol wherever he goes, quite frankly, Faria may have a hard time courting a comparable ride to KTM with someone else. At least on his own. This leaves Despres with the prospect of starting completely fresh with a new team or softening his approach to resigning with KTM. With Chaleco and Coma affirmed and Caselli a strong possibility for the future (if KTM is smart), I hate to ask, but is there any room left for Despres? I'm sure KTM would find the room, but Despres may be finding his musical chairs slowly disappearing.
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