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Kallonen: AMA Six Days Enduro Team Manager

AMA News

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce that Antti Kallonen, former competitor and KTM North America’s off-road team manager, will manage the 2012 U.S. International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) team as it seeks a world title, Sept. 24-29, in Saxony, Germany.

Robert Pearce, KTM North America’s vice president of operations and a five-time ISDE participant, will assist Kallonen with team operations.

Kallonen, who guides KTM North America’s efforts in major off-road racing series in the United States, brings a wealth of experience to the ISDE effort, including organizational and logistical expertise, fund-raising support, and a first-hand understanding of the culture of European off-road racing.

Prior to working for KTM North America, Kallonen raced the FIM MX World Championship from 1998-2002 until injury forced his retirement. His initial stint in the United States was as the mechanic for Juha Salminen. In his six years as KTM’s off-road team manager, the factory team has won 28 national off-road titles.

Antti Kallonen says: "I’m honored and excited to take on the responsibility to lead the U.S. ISDE team in 2012. The team is well established, but my goal is to bring the team together as a whole and work on the small details that are needed to take the team to the next level.

"One of my main focuses is going to be the riders and the preparation for the event. This will make the race-day operations easier so all the riders will need to do is to focus on doing their best on the track, knowing they have the best support possible behind them."

Robert Pearce says: "Antti and I work very well together on a day-to-day basis. Having the opportunity to work on such a project as the 2012 ISDE in Germany for the AMA and all the volunteers that it takes to be successful will be an awesome experience. I am honored to have been selected along with Antti to be a part of the U.S. support team."

In addition to Pearce, the ISDE team benefits from the participation of a number of leaders, each of whom plays a vital role with the team. These include Rick "Gunny" Claypoole, a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) jury delegate and a driving force behind the U.S. ISDE effort for more than 30 years; Bruce Wakeley, team administration manager; and Jay Hall, manager of the Parc Ferme and work area.

The new structure of the ISDE team follows the successful model the AMA has long used with regard to the Motocross of Nations, which it has won a record 22 times.

Chuck Weir (AMA Off-Road Manager) says: "In much the same way that Roger DeCoster guides the U.S. effort in the Motocross of Nations, Antti will lead us in our journey toward an FIM World Championship in ISDE competition.

"Antti’s experience running a race team is evident in KTM’s success in premier U.S. racing series, and we’re excited that he’s on board to help lead us toward the United States’ first ISDE title.

"Also, just as Roger works with riders from all teams, Antti will welcome and support riders regardless of what bike they ride. While we obviously appreciate KTM North America’s backing of riders every year, the U.S. team at the ISDE will continue to feature qualifying riders on any brand of motorcycle."

U.S. ISDE qualifiers will be organized by the Boise Ridge Riders June 2-3 in Idaho City, Idaho, and by the Appalachian Dirt Riders June 9-10 in Wellston, Ohio. More information about the Idaho event can be found at BoiseRidgeRiders.com. Details for the Ohio event are at ADROhio.org.

More information about the U.S. ISDE team can be found at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Racing > ISDE.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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