Off Road

Tye Simmonds and Daniel Sanders Confirmed Along Side Price and Long At KTM Off-Road

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KTM Australia has announced an exciting 2015 off-road racing squad which it hopes will again be the orange juggernaut for the others to chase, with the amalgamation of its enduro and desert racing teams into a single squad, and the signing of two new recruits to help tackle its packed and varied calendar.

The 2015 KTM Off-Road Racing Team will see champion off-road racer Toby Price return alongside South Australian desert racing hotshot Ivan Long, with new team members Victorian Daniel "Chucky" Sanders and former top-level pro motocrosser Tye Simmonds.

The team, managed by decorated racer Ben Grabham, will see Price, Simmonds, and Sanders target all enduro and off-road majors, with Price, Simmonds and Long forming the brand's three-pronged desert racing arm.

Former top-level pro motocrosser Tye Simmonds is an exciting new member, with his passion for motorcycle racing now restored after a burnout-induced halt to his motocross career more than a year ago.

While he might be technically an enduro racing rookie, the 22-year-old from Bourke can drop into virtually any dirt riding format and excel, and KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager Ben Grabham has every faith in Simmonds‰Ûª ability to make his transition to AORC a highly notable one.

‰ÛÏIt's something completely different for me, obviously I‰Ûªve raced motocross and supercross all my life." Simmonds said. "The only thing I've done with these guys has been Hattah, so it's completely new, and I'm really stoked that Grabbo has given me a chance to have a go.

"It‰Ûªs all escalated pretty quickly, and before I knew it we were down in Melbourne to race at the Expo, and I‰Ûªd signed the contract. I've always known Grabbo, he was the King of the Desert, and we hung out a lot together when I was on KTMs in 08 and 09. He‰Ûªs a top bloke and definitely a good role model.

"I think the KTM Off-Road Team is the best team in the off-road and desert scene, and the bikes are unreal - I think they are the best out there, both stock out of the box and with what they can do with a little testing.‰Û
Twenty-year-old Victorian Daniel "Chucky" Sanders has been elevated to the factory team
Twenty-year-old Victorian Daniel "Chucky" Sanders has been elevated to the factory team on the back of a stellar 2014 in which, as a KTM-mounted privateer, he went almost undefeated in the U19 classification of the Australian Off-Road Championship on his way to 6th outright. He also won the Victorian ORC outright, and helped the Aussie Junior team onto the podium in his ISDE debut.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs exciting to be on a team, I‰Ûªm stoked with that and I can't wait to start." Sanders commented. "My teammates are a bit of a funny bunch to be around. I'm sort of the new guy and the youngest so they're always picking on me - it's a bit of fun and games with those two, you can't leave your phone unlocked or else you‰Ûªre in trouble.

"We do knuckle down as well though and we put some good lap times in Enduro-X testing. Ben is a great guy who really knows what he‰Ûªs doing. He‰Ûªs won a few championships, and he knows how to get a bike going. He‰Ûªs always got a good idea what our setup should be.‰Û
Aussie off-road racing maestro Toby Price has re-signed with the team after a barn-storming 2014 season
Aussie off-road racing maestro Toby Price has re-signed with the team after a barn-storming 2014 season which included Finke, Hattah and AORC championship wins, a top-eight finish in a round of the World Rally Championship in Morocco, and a stonking ISDE performance in which he dominated the E3 category and went within 45 seconds of winning the world‰Ûªs biggest enduro event overall!

Even more impressive was the fact that this winning spree kicked off just over a year after a seemingly career-ending broken neck, but Price has certainly proved beyond all reasonable doubt that that recovery is more than complete.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs always a good feeling being back." Price admitted. "I love being with the KTM brand, and all the guys that we've got here in Australia are a great bunch of people. It feels like a family so it's good to have this locked away and we're just looking forward to the 12 months ahead and seeing where the future takes us.

"It's cool to have Chucky and Tye on board as teammates, I think we‰Ûªll get Chucky up to speed and putting some pressure on everyone from what Tye‰Ûªs showing at the moment he won‰Ûªt take too long to be a front runner I think.

"We‰Ûªve still got a few decisions to make with who's riding what but all the KTM range is great so it‰Ûªs going to be fine either way.‰Û
Ivan Long soared with the backing of the factory this year and looks certain to only improve in 2015.
Fellow incumbent Long soared with the backing of the factory this year and looks certain to only improve in 2015.

‰ÛÏI'm pretty stoked to be on the race team again." Long stated. "I knew that it was going to be a learning stage this year and I‰Ûªve worked pretty hard.

"Obviously you are definitely pushing the boundaries to keep up with someone like Pricey in the Tri-Series, but I learned lots of little things to work on so we‰Ûªll see what happens next year. I think Tye‰Ûªs already showing some good speed off-road and in enduro-X, so he‰Ûªs definitely going to be one to beat.

"Hopefully the team can get along as good as what we did this year, and the results will come with it. Stoked to work under Grabbo again, he organised everything this year, from accommodation right down to the food needed to eat.

"In the tri-series we were out in the middle of the desert, and Toby and I just rolled up like rock stars and off we went.‰Û

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