Monday, October 10, 2011

Is KTM Considering a Run at the WSBK Championship Series?

Chris Fillmore's #11 KTM/HMC Racing-sponsored KTM 1190 RC8R AMA Superbike Championship-spec machine sits on display under the KTM awning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 4th Annual RedBull Indianapolis MotoGP Weekend in August 2011.  The 2011 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Champion debuted the machine at it's maiden race in the AMA Pro Road Racing event at Mid Ohio in July 2010, qualifying an impressive 10th in combined qualifying, and just shy of 1.9 seconds behind fast-man Blake Young on the Yoshimura/Rockstar/Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000. 

Fillmore would go on to card two top 10 finishes during the weekend at the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire-sponsored event at the Lexington, OH. track, in what was a great show for it's first time out in AMA Pro Road Racing competition.  In it's first race outing it finished just 13.620 seconds behind winner Young in 7th, and in race 2 finishing 9th some 26 seconds behind winner Tommy Hayden on another Yoshimura Suzuki. 

Not much word on the U.S. road racing scene as we head into a long winter break.  Dunlop has tire tests scheduled at Daytona next week, but no mention of yet on KTM's involvement, if any.  The Hansen/HMC team has also worked with riders Doug Chandler and Scott Russell in the past, so they are no slouches in putting good talent on fast and powerful v-twin machines.  The RC8R as debuted at Mid Ohio was said to be one of the most 'visually stunning' machines in the paddock by a widely known journalist in the industry, and having high potential for the future.  Maybe with any luck we'll see more of it in AMA Pro Road Racing events in the AMA Superbike Championship.

Ultimate reports that KTM is seriously considering a run at the WSBK Championship Series in the near future.  Read on:

And also reports about KTM's hinting at getting into the WSBK Championship Series, possibly as early as the 2012 season:

Thanks to Ultimate for this link to the specs for KTM's RC8R twin-cylinder machine, along with some great pics of the machine: has this press release from last month when KTM won the 2011 IDM International German Superbike Championship, with Martin Bauer winning the title while riding the Austrian company's RC8R superbike:

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