Not many riders can claim to have spent 10 consecutive years with the same factory, so it was a proud moment when I signed on the dotted line the other day for another year with KTM. I feel at home in Mattohofen, but of course no rider who wants to win re-signs simply out of friendship. ASO’s new 450 rule has bought a number of changes to the rally-raid landscape, so it was vital I made sure we had a package capable of victory before renewing my contract.
In this case that package comprises of three essential elements. First of all KTM’s new 450 rally bike is showing great promise. We are still in the development stage, but the rally department has taken the right direction and I very much like what I have seen and ridden so far. Secondly KTM and Red Bull have shown their confidence in us by allowing us to maintain the same structure as on the last Dakar. For 2011 the members of the 2010 winning team will be integrated into the factory team so as to continue assisting myself and Ruben Faria. And finally, after this year’s fruitful collaboration, Michelin have confirmed our partnership and will be supplying us their best material.
Thanks to all this good news I can now start my physical preparations in readiness for the second half of the season, which will be focused on the final stages of setting up my KTM 450 Rally. I wish you all an excellent summer.
In charge of competition at KTM, Pit Beirer and Cyril shake hands on another year’s contract. Looking on (from left to right) Alex Doringer (in charge of the rally department), Roland Bruckner (Cyril’s mechanic) and Stefan Huber (rally department technical manager).
Alongside Stefan Pierer (CEO of KTM), Cyril tries out for size the KTM X-Bow he received following his victory on the 2010 Dakar.