Breaking News: Cyril Despres No Longer Riding for KTM
Marc Coma's last-minute replacement rider Kurt Caselli has become a permanent member of the Dakar team, and he will share the same livery with Coma, and Ruben Faria. Chilean Chaleco Lopez will also get full factory equipment, completing the racing quartet.
While Despres has not made any public statement on his separation from KTM, the racing team claims that he wanted "to move on and face new challenges", whatever the meaning of these words.
KTM Motorsports chief Pit Beirer declared: “It is essential to evolve, to engage new talent and have the kind of balance and harmony essential for the smooth operation of the team in extreme circumstances like the Dakar Rally. We want to capitalize on the immense experience and talent of riders like Marc Coma, but also need to take advantage of those of ambitious up-and-coming riders like Caselli, Faria and Lopez.”
Wonder which team will get Despres... Seeing the French ride a Husqvarna would indeed be over the top. However, given Husqvarna's new owner (Stephan Pierer, also major shareholder in KTM) declared wish to restore the brand's off-road glory... we would not be THAT surprised.
We'll be back with news on this unexpected move, so watch this space.