The off-road giants have been increasing their road racing efforts in recent years with 2009 seeing official participation in both the Austrian and German Superbike Championships and it is anticipated that the machine on the Island will mirror those in specification in what will be KTM’s first ever TT appearance.
The man given the task of riding the bright orange bike will be Loughborough’s James Edmeades. The 26-year old is no stranger to the TT having ridden in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 events. The former Virgin R6 Cup rider narrowly missed out on his first 120mph lap in 2007 and has already picked up two bronze replicas from his nine races whilst he also took a strong fifth in last season’s RC8 Super Cup Championship.
In addition to the TT outing, Edmeades will campaign the bike in this year’s British Superbike Evo Championship and he is eagerly looking forward to his return to the Mountain Course.
“The opportunity to become the first KTM rider at the Isle of Man TT Races is a tremendous honour for me and after the three great years I enjoyed between 2006 and 2008, I can’t wait to get back on the Island. The KTM RC8R is a superb bike and I’m sure it will perform well around the course with its excellent handling qualities.
“I was carrying an injury when I was last at the TT and didn’t perform as I would have liked which is something I’m keen to put right this year. I’m sure both myself and the team will give a good account of ourselves and further prove the capabilities of the KTM Superbike machine.”
KTM will join Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki with their official manufacturer supported efforts at this year’s TT whilst discussions with other leading manufacturers not currently represented at the TT are close to being finalised.
Hon Martyn Quayle, MHK, Minister for Tourism and Leisure, Isle of Man Government commented:
“It will be fantastic to see KTM competing for the first time on the Isle of Man and how appropriate that they will be lining up on the grid with Suzuki who are celebrating their 50th anniversary of racing at the TT. It shows the continued strength and enduring appeal of the TT Races and I hope that KTM will have a long and successful TT history.”