The final day of the FIM Motocross Grand Prix of Benelux unveiled one of the year’s biggest news as KTM announced that Roger De Coster will become the manager of the company’s new factory team in the USA. After reaching success in the FIM Motocross World Championship with Stefan Everts as their Offroad Race Director, KTM aims at succeeding also in the USA courtesy of Roger De Coster’s contribution.
In the Sunday morning of the Benelux Grand Prix, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer, Head of KTM Offroad Sports Department Pit Beirer, KTM Offroad Race Director Stefan Everts and former World Champion Heinz Kinigadner gathered in a press conference to announce the signing of Roger De Coster. The latter was then phone-called in America and added his comments on this new exciting challenge he is about to take part in.
After thanking Tony Cairoli and Claudio De Carli for the MX1 World Title victory of two weeks ago in Brazil, Stefan Pierer said: “The acquisition of Roger De Coster to take over our factory team in the USA heralds a new era for KTM. We now enjoy a worldwide network and we are a real global player. Roger De Coster is one of the great figures in the sport of Motocross and we are delighted that he has agreed to manage our new team. KTM is now “Ready to Race” in the biggest and most competitive Motocross competitions in the world.”
Pit Beirer added: "We are honored that we can welcome a man of Roger De Coster's credentials and stature into the KTM family. With him as the head of our new KTM USA factory team we will be a major force in the USA and Europe and we want to attract the very best American riders into our team. Roger has had a superb racing career and a distinguished and successful career in team management."
From his USA phone, Roger De Coster ended: "It was a difficult decision for me to leave Suzuki but I was looking for a long term agreement and commitment, which I both found in KTM. This is a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to it."
Roger De Coster, also known as "The Man", is a Belgian rider who is currently living in the United States. After a successful World Championship career recording five World Titles and 36 Grand Prix wins (all in the 500cc class), De Coster moved to America to become a four time Trans AMA Champion and then Team Manager. His career as Suzuki Team Manager –which will be his official position until the end of the AMA Motocross series- in Motocross and Supercross lasted 15 years and produced numerous titles and championships. De Coster is also the Team Manager of USA at the FIM Motocross of Nations and has led the squad to success in all 20 occasions USA was on top of the rostrum.
At the end of the Benelux Grand Prix, KTM conquered also the MX2 World Title with Marvin Musquin as well as the MX1 and MX2 Manufacturers’ World Titles.