2013 KTM Racing NewsThe big news in the world of KTM this week was the departure of Cyril Despres from the newly named Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally team.
But with the five-time Dakar Rally winning Frenchman’s exit arrived the opening for some new talent on the rally team. And the talent arrived from America – the man who competed on factory KTM motorcycles in US-based SCORE/Baja events for the past 11 years.KTM reported Wednesday that Caselli not only signed with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally team, but also extended his contract with the Austrian-based manufacturer for SCORE/Baja events on the FMF/KTM Factory Team. Both contracts will run through 2016.Besides competing in the Dakar Rally and SCORE/Baja events, Caselli will also race select World Rally Championship rounds to help him prepare for the Dakar event, KTM reports.Kurt Caselli (Red Bull Factory KTM) says: “I am very excited for the opportunity to sign a multi-year deal with KTM to race a different discipline than I have in the past. It is a new challenge for me that I am excited to take with the people that I consider to be my second family.“I am also thankful that in addition to signing with KTM for another three-years, I will also be able to keep my main sponsors that have been by my side for the past 10 years. Their loyalty means a lot to me as I take the next step in my career.”Caselli, 29, raced in the 2013 Dakar Rally, filling in for three-time Dakar Champ Marc Coma who injured his shoulder while prepping at the Morocco Rally. Caselli impressed at the event won by Despres, finishing 31st overall and winning two stages.Once the Dakar was complete, Caselli was noticed by KTM’s Director of Racing, Pit Beirer. KTM says Caselli was noticed to his “eagerness to learn and ability to quickly adapt to surroundings.”Together, Beirer and Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen, reached an agreement that would allow Caselli to represent the Red Bull KTM Factory World Rally Team for the next three years while also continuing his US based SCORE/Baja racing efforts as a member of the Factory FMF/KTM Team., KTM reports.Antti Kallonen says: “The entire team is excited for Kurt and I am very thankful that we will be working with the KTM Factory Team in Austria at a closer level. It is always exciting when a U.S. rider can transition successfully into the world rally events.“We are very proud of Kurt and excited to have him represent our country on a world level. While the Dakar Rally is a big undertaking we will still continue our efforts to capture the SCORE/Baja Series Championship and are grateful to have Kurt as a member of that team.”
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!