KTM News Release
MURRIETA, Calif. – KTM Motorsports is proud to announce its four-member 2012 Baja Racing Team. The riders will include: Kurt Caselli, Ivan Ramirez, Mike Brown and Quinn Cody.
KTM returned to Baja racing two seasons ago with support from outside sponsor Bonanza Plumbing. For 2012, KTM will remain linked to Bonanza Plumbing but will also invest more resources internally to put forth a true factory effort in the series and hope to take home the victory at the most premier Baja event of the year, the Baja 1000.
Caselli, the reigning WORCS and Hare & Hound Champion, has shifted his focus to desert racing for the 2012 season and has already dominated the first two rounds of the Hare & Hound Series. He raced the Baja 1000 for the first time in his professional career in 2011 and is excited about the opportunity to head the team moving forward to 2012. “I really enjoy desert riding and I feel like the Baja 1000 is the most premier desert race a team can win. I am happy that I am given the chance to represent KTM at this level,” remarked Caselli.
Caselli will be joined by RPM/KTM support rider Ivan Ramirez. The two riders plan to team up for the San Felipe 250 which will be held in March as the first race of the SCORE/Baja Series. Ramirez, was born and raised in Mexico and has many racing accomplishments in his home country and many supportive fans that are excited to see him aboard the KTM Factory team.
Mike Brown will also join the team. Brown started his career as a motocross rider where he had much success including a 125 MX National Championship. For the past few years he has transitioned to the off-road world winning a WORCS title and finishing 2nd in the 2011 EnduroCross Series. This will mark his first year riding the Baja events. “I am very excited to race Baja. Anytime I can get on my bike and race is a good day and this is a challenging team event that I am very happy to be a part of,” stated Brown.
The fourth and final spot on the team will be rewarded to Quinn Cody. The most experienced Baja team member, Cody has already collected 4 Baja 1000 titles and 2 Baja 500 titles. He is also a former Dakar Rally Rookie of the Year and was a member of KTM’s Baja effort the last year the team competed at the factory level.
“I could not be more excited to be a part of KTM’s new Baja program. With 2012 being one of the most competitive years in Baja racing history, I am looking forward to applying my experience to the team to help put KTM on the top of the podium,” stated Cody.
The team will compete aboard the 2012 450 SX-F. The dual-overhead cam, carbureted engine has been very successful in Dakar Rally racing. Team Manager, Antti Kallonen, commented, “We are very fortunate to receive support from the KTM Factory in Austria. The team will receive the same engine as the Dakar team runs and we feel that motor is perfectly designed for the challenging conditions of Baja racing.” He continued, “Returning to the Baja series at the Factory level has taken a lot of organization and has provided challenges to each team member, however, we are confident that with the support of our sponsors and our factory help that we can put our team in contention to win this years Baja 1000.”