Taylor Robert is one of the newest members on the FMF/KTM off-road team.
KTM announced the seven racers who will make up its 2014 FMF/KTM off-road team. Not a whole lot changed but it did add former WORCS Champion Taylor Robert and Kacy Martinez to the line-up.
Robert, who will concentrate on the EnduroCross Championship, signed a three-year deal with the team, as did National Enduro Champion Charlie Mullins and GNCC champ Kailub Russell.
"It is an honor to race for the KTM team,” Robert said. “I know they have a history of winning off-road championships and I am hoping to give them some more. I am thankful for the opportunity and excited to showcase the product in the EnduroCross Series and in the ISDE next season."
Kacy Martinez will take over the reigns from current Women’s GNCC champ Maria Forsberg, who recently announced her retirement from racing. Martinez will step up to the factory rig and try to pick up where Forsberg left off.
Mullins will compete in both the 2014 Enduro and GNCC Championships, while Russell will return to defend his number-one plate in GNCC.
"Kailub and I battled the whole season last year and I plan to challenge him even more next season,” Mullins said. “No racer likes to get second and I am going to do my part to make sure I am in the championship hunt this next season.”
"I made some changes to my program last year that helped me as we neared the end of the season,” Russell said. “It felt great to get my first XC1 Championship and now I am determined to stay on top. I am looking forward to an exciting season."
Eight-time National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty will return in enduro for his final year of racing, while Steward Baylor will be back to win back the National Enduro title that he earned in 2012 and will compete full time in the XC1 class for the first time in the GNCC Series. Baylor missed most of 2013 with a wrist injury.
In the desert, Ivan Ramirez will focus on the National Hare & Hound Championship.
"Last year was my first full-time year in the series,” said Ramirez who finished fourth in the 2013 Championship. “I love desert racing, so I am really looking forward to returning to that series. I learned a lot from my friend Kurt Caselli and I am hoping to take what he has taught me and go after my first title in that series."
"We lost a great leader in our team with the passing of Kurt Caselli, and it is our goal, to continue to do what he has taught us to do, which is to continue to improve each season to reach new goals and championships," said Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen. "We've always had a team of great riders and this year is no exception. The 2013 season was very successful and it is never easy to repeat that success but with our group of riders, mechanics and team staff I know we have what it takes to defend current titles and go after new ones."