Nathan Crawford will transition to the MX1 division while Kayden Minear will take on a second term of MX2 competition as a down-sized two-rider KTM Racing Team is announced.
The duo will hit the track at round one of the 2024 ProMX season and also contest the Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) in the second half of the year.
For Crawford, the 26-year-old’s chance to step up to the premier class is a welcome one, signalling his third season with the KTM Racing Team and he’s motivated to build upon what was a standout campaign this year. The Queenslander finished second in both the ProMX MX2 and AUSX SX2 championships, now focused on making an impact at the highest levels of the sport domestically.
“I’m super-keen heading into 2024,” Crawford enthused. “I’ve finally got the opportunity to step up to the MX1 class, which I feel has been coming for a year or two now. For me, I just didn’t want to move up unless it was for the right team, so I’m really happy that I can continue my relationship with KTM and the whole group of people involved. I can’t say enough good words about everyone who helps run our program, they work tirelessly behind the scenes, and I’ve found a great home here with KTM. I’m looking forward to getting up there and battling with the boys in the premier class – I’m loving the bike already, so I’ll be looking to put the KTM 450 SX-F towards the front of the field straightaway.”
As for Kayden Minear, at only 16 years of age, he built immense experience as a rookie in MX2 throughout this past season, eventually claiming a confidence-inspiring sixth position in the standings. Now, the Western Australian teenager is aiming to further refine his craft and contend for the championship riding the 2024 KTM 250 SX-F.
“I am really excited to sign with KTM for another year!” Minear said. “Last year was a good learning year for us in MX2, so I’m excited and looking forward to our second year in the class together. I want to be up the front, fighting for podiums at every round next year. Our package is really good, my team and I have done a lot of work behind the scenes, so there’s no reason why we can’t be up the pointy-end in 2024.”
In addition, KTM Racing Team will extend its support to MX3 talent Jet Alsop, who – like Minear – has been a mainstay with the KTM brand from the very early stages of his career and is a product of the KTM Junior Racing Team development system. This next step is in an effort to prepare the capable young Queenslander for the professional ranks at a national level in the coming years.
Kyle Blunden (KTM Group Australia Motorsport Manager) said, “We’re thrilled to announce the strategic restructure of the KTM Racing Team for 2024. We’ve got an incredible team of riders and mechanics and we’re looking forward to working closely with our partners in a bid for success in both the ProMX and Australian Supercross season.
“Moving Nathan up to the premier class is simply a progression of his career path after a really good season aboard the 250 SX-F. Early tests have been very positive and he’s gelling well with the 450 SX-F. In the MX2 category, Kayden Minear will spearhead our attack, after a consistent ProMX campaign in 2023. For such a young guy he showed great maturity in his approach to his first year in MX2 and made sure he was there every single race weekend. Unfortunately, we had a setback at the opening supercross event which was completely out of his control, but in true form, he put his head down, did exactly as his doctors and trainers recommended, and is already spinning laps back at home in Western Australia.
He’s a talented racer with a great family and support network around him, and I think we will see something very special from him in 2024. Next year will also see additional support provided to Jet Alsop, who will compete in the MX3 category. Jet’s an incredible young racer who has come through the KTM Junior Racing Team ranks and we wanted to ensure the next step was available to him. We’re building out a good platform, reinforcing our commitment to fostering young talent within the KTM family.”