2011 Dakar Rally
KTM on Saturday wrote another chapter in its history when the sports motorcycle market leaders celebrated taking its tenth consecutive Dakar Rally title.
The Dakar race was won in heroic style by Marc Coma closely followed by Cyril Despres, who between them have taken the past six Dakar titles for the Austrian brand.
The victory also heralded an aggressive new era for KTM in rally sport, according to company CEO Stefan Pierer.
The victory was also celebrated by the presence of Hubert Trunkenpolz, Head of Sales and Marketing for KTM who traveled from Sao Paolo Brazil, where the company has just opened its latest international subsidiary, to be in Buenos Aires to greet the two KTM riders.
The 2011 Dakar, over 9500 grueling kilometers, was thrilling from the first to the final stage as the two KTM heroes battled it out for the top podium place. Coma and Despres have dominated rally sport in recent years and there has rarely been two riders who share such passion and skill when competing in the world’s toughest rally.
The company’s success was further underlined by excellent performances by many other KTM riders who successfully competed in the 33rd edition of the Dakar Rally.
Following the tenth consecutive win for KTM, CEO Stefan Pierer announced that the company now intends to use the Dakar Rally as its major marketing platform as it enters a new and aggressive era of involvement in rally sport, including the development of the KTM 450 Rally bike in a production model.
Stefan Pierer says: "I am confident that this new bike is going to add yet another layer of prestige to our brand, following the unprecedented success we have enjoyed recently with other models like the 350 SX-F and the 350 EXC. As well as developing the best rally bike on the market, we plan to introduce new and interesting packages for both rally teams and individual rally enthusiasts."
Mr. Pierer confirmed that KTM plans an aggressive involvement in rally sport both with the company’s factory teams and with other riders and teams who are committed to the Austrian brand.
Stefan Pierer says: "We want to see teams and riders from as many countries as possible competing on our bikes. Every KTM rider is a KTM ambassador – whether our own factory team, riders of other teams on KTMs and all the committed privateers who choose our machines!"
Heinz Kinigadner, KTM Sports Consultant, double 250 cc Motocross World Champion and former Dakar racer said the company can be very satisfied with the outstanding results achieved at the Dakar 2011.
Heinz Kinigadner says: "We are justifiably proud of our two KTM factory riders and we are especially pleased with what they achieved on the newly launched KTM 450 Rally Replica. This bike was developed to provide an answer to the surprise rule change announced in mid 2009 that restricts professional Dakar riders to bikes not exceeding 450 ccm. We rose to the challenge and today it is clear that we have achieved our goal. The results speak for themselves."
The new KTM 450 Rally production model is expected to retail for around € 25,000 (net), a very competitive price for a superior quality racing bike that is capable of winning the Dakar.