2016 KTM RC Cup Series PreviewKTM North America is committed to raising the bar for U.S. road racing, and this is evident by its continued support and development of the KTM RC Cup series, which is set to begin on April 15 at Braselton, Ga.The 2016 KTM RC Cup Series will be running alongside the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North America Road Racing Championship. Everything will get underway at the renowned Road Atlanta circuit, along with seven other stops along the way.
Everyone who follows racing knows that it’s a lifelong commitment, one that starts at an early age. If you want proof of that, just look at the careers of every MotoGP rider that has become a household name to those who follow the sport and this is where it begins – think of Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo; all began in their early teens. The KTM RC Cup is designed to showcase youth talents around the U.S. with an age range of 14-22-year-old riders, all aboard their own KTM RC 390 race bikes.These kids fought tooth and nail throughout the inaugural season in 2015, and many of those who participated in last year’s series have decided to come back for the 2016 season. Many of the top finishers have used the KTM RC Cup Series to propel themselves into higher ranking divisions. That is the case for current reigning RC Cup Champion, Gage McAllister, who will not be on the grid to defend his title. Instead, he’s moved into the Supersport 600 class. With one dominant force out of the field, others have moved in for their chance at the title.Riders like the 2015 runner-up, Anthony Mazziotto III. At the young age of 15, he finished second against a then 21-year-old Gage McAllister and took two checkered flags in the process. He’ll be on hand at the Silverstone Race Circuit, representing KTM North America and MotoAmerica. All things suggest that Mazziotto is a strong contender for the KTM RC Cup title.Other riders returning to the RC Cup in 2016 include: Brandon Altmeyer, Josh Serne, Christopher Kosan, Jaret Nassaney, Ezra Beaubier, Jake Fell, Benjamin Smith, Jackson Blackmon, John Knowles, Nolan Lamkin, Trevor Standish, Nicholas Swensgard, Setin West, Gray Pham and Valentine Welch.Lasting impressions were made in the 2015 seasons and of those, is the stand out Canadian, Braeden Ortt who battled McAllister to the final round. Ortt did all this with an injury that held him back, pushing him to a very respectable third overall finish in the championship standings. In the 2016 season, Ortt found himself signing an agreement to compete in the FIM Supersport World Championship, showcasing the importance of youth leagues. Fourth in the 2015 seasons was Hayden Schultz, who sparked enough interest to get himself a ride in the Superstock 1000 class for the 2016 MotoAmerica season.All riders who want to participate in the KTM RC Cup Series must be between the ages of 14 and 22 years of age, as well as hold a valid AMA Superstock Limited license. This is a test of skill, not technology, as all riders will be aboard matching 2015 or 2016 KTM RC 390 Cup Race bikes. Designed specifically for the KTM RC Cup, these bikes follow many of the same stringent regulations that we see in professional racing, such as sealed engine cases to ensure an even level of performance. That means your average KTM RC 390 off the street isn’t eligible for the KTM RC Cup. Street-legal variants are eligible for regional races only. However, with over 40 PowerParts available exclusively from KTM, things can be upgraded along the way.MotoAmerica Series riders that purchase an RC Cup Racebike before March 31, 2016 will get a 10×10 EZ-up from Synchrony Financial, an exclusive sponsorship package from the RC Cup program supporters Motion Pro and Motorex. Additoinally, riders will be eligible for a 40% discount on a semi-customizable GiMoto race suit.Riders who are going to be racing in the 2016 MotoAmerica Championship have a bit more incentive to participate in the KTM RC Cup this year as well. KTM will pay up to five select regional races aboard the RC Cup bike. Those races include: Championship Cup Series (CCS), Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association (CMRA), Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CVR) and American Federation of Motorcyclists (AFM).Starting at $9,999 (USD) MSRP, the authorized KTM RC Cup Racebike has been made available in limited quantities. If you’re interested in one, of the proper age and hold the proper licensing, please talk to your nearest KTM dealership about acquiring one and hopefully setting you on a path that leads to some championship titles.