Respected development team Raceline has joined forces with KTM Australia for season 2016 and beyond to provide a critical step in KTM’s rider development pathway.
KTM Australia prides itself on supporting the growth of Australian motocross from a rider’s very first steps in the junior ranks right through to international transitions beyond its factory MX1 team, but has recently sought the perfect developmental stepping stone from juniors to the factory squad.
While KTM will continue its factory support backing of MXD and MX2 riders, the new partnership with John Tisdale’s Newcastle-based Raceline team will provide a specific developmental pathway for riders to aim for.
Managed by respected Team Manager and engine tuner Chris Woods, Raceline will take impressive
Sydney based up and comer Dylan Wills into 2016 as its MX2 rider, while Tasmanian KTM junior team graduate Wade Kirkland will represent the team in MXD.
Wills has been particularly impressive in 2015 riding for Newcastle KTM, performing consistently across both championships, with occasional forays into the limelight to upstage the big names.
Riding for the KTM junior factory team, Wade Kirkland finished second in class in his final junior nationals, establishing himself as one of the nation’s most promising new talents to hit seniors for 2016.
Both riders will be campaigning the exciting and radically new 2016 250SXF.
For more information on KTM Motorcycles, visit www.ktm.com.au or www.facebook.com/KTMAustralia
Tam Paul, KTM Australia Brand Manager – “KTM recognised a gap in our rider development path from juniors to seniors and we’ve been working on finding the right partner and the right scenario with which to fill that void. I am really excited about our future direction with Raceline.
Dylan Wills and Wade Kirkland will be our MX2 and MXD riders respectively. Dylan is definitely an up-and-coming young rider who already has MX2 moto wins to his credit. He has a lot of potential and we’re very excited about the future with him. He has plenty of speed and great supercross skills as well. Wade is our graduating KTM Factory Junior Team rider from 2015 and he finished second in his final junior nationals behind Hunter Lawrence. He’s a very strong rider whose great skill set and consistent performances ensure he is always there at the end of a championship.”
John Tisdale, Raceline Team Owner: This is the absolute truth, KTM pretty much straight out of the box has been the best racing machine since the beginning. The other brands would probably challenge that, but if you walk around the pits, that is the information you get.
The new product is a new launch pad and a really exciting thing. We’ve joined an organisation whose DNA is a really close match with ours, and I don’t think, in 18 years we’ve ever had such a good fit.
They are committed to pro development, and we have made a reputation of taking really good, talented riders and maturing them for championship performances and our reputation there is second to none. That transition from top junior to competitive senior is what we do best, and it’s the role they want for us. I’m really excited abo0ut it.
Chris Woods, Raceline Team Manager: It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but we are very excited – we’ve been with the one manufacturer for a long time and KTM is a very good platform to begin with. Dylan has really lifted his game this year, so as long as he can be nice and consistent and keep getting top-six results every time he gets on the bike, at the end of the year he’ll probably be doing reasonably well in the championship. He can do motocross and supercross well and it’s hard to find kids who can do both these days because supercross is such a limited resource for them.
Wade is a big strong kid, and should do quite well in at under 19’s class if he knuckles down and works with the team. We’ll get him up occasionally, maybe for a week and punch out some testing and some riding with Dylan and then put him on a plane back home.
Dylan Wills, MX2 Rider – “I’m really excited. Woodsy runs a great program and it’s great to see him getting backing from a brand that is already unbelievably good straight out of the box. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. It’ll be a new stepping stone for me in my career, and I just can’t wait to start testing and try to get an unbelievable bike underneath me. I’m 100% certain that Woodsy will build me a great bike so I can’t wait to go racing.
My goal now is to win the championship. Now that I’m on a team and I’ve got a year under my belt, I think that if I start somewhere near the front I’ll be there at the end of the championship. I know that I can win motos and run with the top guys, so I can’t see any reason why I can’t win a championship.”
Wade Kirkland, MXD Rider – “I’m pretty rapt with this, I wasn’t really expecting a deal so good. I know Raceline is one of the top teams; they’re good. It’s a lot more motivating being a senior –more prize money and everything steps up a notch now and I’ve got to go a little harder and get some good results. I’ll know some of the older guys from juniors over the years that have got good backing and a bit of experience now so they’ll be tough to beat. At least I’m a bit of a naturally bigger guy so I’ve got a bit of strength to manoeuvre the bike around with.”