The youthful three-rider combination of Jayden Rykers, Wade Kirkland and Morgan Fogarty will lead Raceline Pirelli KTM into round one of the 2017 MX Nationals at Wonthaggi in Victoria, this Sunday.
After claiming fourth in the MX2 championship last season, 20-year-old Rykers joins the factory-supported Raceline-operated team to race aboard a 250 SX-F and will enter round one as a legitimate title challenger. Following a positive pre-season, he’s eager for the gates to drop on the 10-round series.
“There’s a lot of excitement for me coming into this year, with the experience of last year under my belt,” Rykers commented. “Moving onto better support through KTM’s program has allowed me to solely focus on riding and my off-bike training. I’m in a happier place – my partner has moved over to Sydney and that’s put my mind at ease – so the situation has been great. Raceline Pirelli KTM and I have been working closely, so we are ready for this weekend. I haven’t put any expectations on myself, I’ll do the best that I can and I feel all the work I’ve put in will show in my results.”
Joining Rykers in the talent-packed MX2 field, also equipped with a Raceline Pirelli KTM 250 SX-F, will be teenage newcomer Kirkland. After winning the final round of MXD last year at Coolum and claiming fourth in the standings, he will move up to the MX2 division and will gain great experience as the season progresses.
“I’m feeling really good on the bike and was able to build a good amount of experience last year,” 17-year-old Kirkland said. “It’s definitely good to be back with Raceline Pirelli KTM, knowing what to expect and that gives me a lot of confidence. Stepping up to MX2 is the right step for me, getting amongst the big boys and I have time on my side, so I’m excited, for sure.”
Raceline Pirelli KTM will continue to field an entry in the MXD ranks for Under 19s racers, calling upon another 17-year-old in Fogarty as he steps up out of juniors. For him, having the first round in his home state of Victoria will be a benefit of sorts and he’s entering the season with an open mind, hoping to make an impact from the outset.
“It’s been a really good off-season and I’m feeling ready for round one,” shared Fogarty. “I just can’t wait to get to the first round, to see where we are at and work with the Raceline Pirelli KTM team. They’re a great bunch of guys and we’ve been able to get a fair amount of testing done, so it should be good to get behind the gates.”
The first round of the 2017 MX Nationals will take place at Wonthaggi in Victoria this Sunday, 2 April. Visit the official series website at www.mxnationals.com.au for further information.
To follow Raceline Pirelli KTM’s progress this year, like ‘Raceline’ on Facebook or follow @raceline_motosport on Instagram.