It was never going to happen overnight, but the next important stage of American Flat Track's evolution has been confirmed. Red Bull KTM has confirmed they will be the second factory Singles team, when they enter the series in 2019. It's what AFT's British big cheese, Michael Lock, has been targeting and his hardwork and vision seems to be paying off.
KTM's announcement follows the official Husqvarna team's entry, with Shayna Texter, for the 2018 season.
John Hinz, President, KTM North America, Inc said 'We have been following the changes happening to the racing in American Flat Track and the excitement it’s produced, so as a READY TO RACE company it was natural for KTM to want to be involved. I am proud to continue a long-standing relationship with Chris Fillmore as the new Team Manager for our Flat Track and Road Racing efforts. Chris has a history with KTM beginning in 2003 when he rode on KTM’s first SuperMoto team before leading our RC8R Sport Bike effort in Road Racing, and most recently setting the World record on a 1290 SUPER DUKE R at Pikes Peak. Chris has been working with the MotoAmerica RC Cup racers and is currently heading the Orange Brigade Road Racing Team with two young riders in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup, so we’re confident in his abilities to take on this exciting project.'
For 2019, KTM will field a race team to compete in the AFT Singles Class aboard the championship-proven 450 SX-F .
Team manager, Chris Fillmore, hints at a future in AFT Twins, too, 'We’re well aware that KTM’s new 790 Duke has the perfect power plant to compete in the AFT Twins class and we’re excited to see what the future brings in this new journey.'
The US subsidiaries of the Japanese factories are supporting various privateers in the singles, but not with official teams. Perhaps this will encourage them.