The start flag drops for the IDM on the weekend of April 23rd in Lausitz for the first of a total of eight rounds in which not only competitors from Germany but also from across Europe and other parts of the world compete. In the Superbike-IDM and the 125 classes there will be a total of 10 riders from five countries onboard KTM machines. They are all excited and full of Orange energy about what will surely be a spectacular and hopefully for KTM, a successful season.
Martin Bauer (35), Austria, Motorex KTM Superbike Team, KTM RC8 R: "I'm going into the season very confidently. Last year we almost had the title in our grasp. Then we had some bad luck in the final with the amount of fuel and that was a big disappointment. It was my goal when I switched to KTM to prove that the RC8 R can win and I managed to do this by taking three races. I was also able to contribute to winning the Manufacturer's Title. Now we are going for the rider's title. I'm the one rider in the team that this year, as well as Red Bull, has Motorex as the new sponsor. Now I've become accustomed to the Motorex turquoise together with the typical KTM Orange and I think it looks great. Technically speaking there's only been a few small changes to the bike when compared to last year and Dunlop, our tire supplier has further optimized the tires. My team is very well prepared and during tests we've been able to improve the settings and the lap times have been on an average 2-3 seconds faster. The season will certainly be exciting, there's plenty of tough opposition and I hope that we'll be successful in riding with the best of them."
Stefan Nebel (30), Velbert, Germany, Inghart KTM Superbike Team Germany, KTM RC8 R: "The Inghart-Team from Königswinter is new for me but even so, nothing much has changed. I and still under direct contract with KTM, so in a way I'm just on loan. KTM Germany is very engaged in the project and I've known the bike inside out right from the testing phase. In 2011 there are three officially supported RC8 R riders - that is Bauer, Smrz and me. We all have the same material. I'm getting along well with my team-mate Matej Smrz and the enthusiasm in the Inghart Team is exemplary. Team boss Ingo Haertel and the co-owner of the team, Albert Schedl, both seem to understand what we need just by looking at us. My personal goal is the same: I want to achieve the best possible result and I want to win."
Matej Smrz (26), Czech Republic: Inghart KTM Superbike Team Germany, KTM RC8 R: "I came to the Inghart Team at the end of 2009 and it was amazing that I won my first race just after that. In the meantime I've got to know all the circuits so it's also the perfect time for me to make the change to KTM. Inghart is now an official supported team. That's really great and I'm proud about that. Up to now in the tests it's all gone better than expected with the changeover to the two-cylinder RC8 R. The bike is light and great to ride. It's fun for me to ride and that makes it easier to put in good lap times. Nevertheless I think I have to be patient because training and racing are quite different. I still have to get used to racing with the KTM so that everything goes according to plan in the heat of the battle. For sure I'll be giving everything but I should probably expect to be able to hone in on a race win in the second half of the season."
Vesa Kallio (30), Finland, Kallio Racing Team, KTM RC8 R: "2011 is going to be my second full season in the IDM Superbike. It's the best racing series in Europe, the competition is very tough and the circuits are safer than in the British Superbike championship. I had operations on the ligaments in both shoulders during the winter and it's going to take a while before I have full mobility again. Nevertheless it's still my goal to finish in the top ten. This year my RC 8 R is going to be painted a ferocious black. As well as KTM Scandinavia I also have to thank a dozen Finnish companies who are supporting me. I've also changed tires and in 2011 I'll be using Pirelli. Apart from that, in the future the team base will be near Oschersleben and that's going to save long transfers and travel from and to Finland."
Toni Finsterbusch (17), Krostitz, Germany, Freudenberg Racing Team, KTM RC 125: "As the vice-champion, it's clear that I want to go one step further. Having said that my goal for the season is top five, because you never know what's going to happen. Also this year I have my final school leaving exams so that has priority because after that I want to study. That also means that it might be possible that I have to miss a race because of the exams. The Freudenberg Team has five riders this year but we have enough staff and everything is working well so there's no problem. I'm hoping that in the second half of the season, when time is no longer a problem I will get a wild card to ride in some GPs."
Luca Gruenwald (16), Waldkraiburg, Germany, Freudenberg Racing Team, KTM RC 125: "My plans to pursue a career in Spain didn't work out so now I'm again defending my title in the IDM with the Freudenberg team, but this time on a KTM. The bike is stable and the response better but that has made the changeover a bit more difficult than expected. I have to adjust my riding style and that will take some time before I'll be able to race on the limit."
Deni Cudic (16), Austria, Freudenberg Racing Team, KTM RC 125: "The KTM is new territory for me and the Freudenberg Team is also new but at the same time it's clear that they have a lot of experience. I feel very comfortable and I hope that in 2011 I'll be able to ride in the top 10."
Florian Alt (14), Nuembrecht, Germany, Freudenberg Racing Team, KTM RC 125:"I'm new in the Freudenberg Team, and the bike is also new to me so I have to get accustomed to it in the IDM because last year I raced for another manufacturer. After a good fifth place in the first Red Bull Rookies Cup race in Jerez I was involved in a crash in the second race that wasn't my fault. I injured the ring finger on my right hand. It's not yet sure how long I'll have to rest it but I hope I'll be fit again soon and I'll be able to achieve my goal for the season, to ride in the top five.
Philipp Oettl (14), Ainring, Germany, HP-Moto Team, KTM RC 125: "IDM training at the Lausnitzring was going very well and all the times were impressive. Then I had a high sider and broke my left collarbone. That's the first time in my career that I've been injured. I wish I could get right back on the bike but I have to rest it for six weeks. An operation at my age wouldn't be a good idea. Instead it should heal normally. That means that I'm going to miss the first race of the IDM, a Red Bull Rookies Cup race in Estoril and maybe even the second IDM race in Oschersleben. That's not very funny."
Alexander Kristiansson (17), Sweden, HP-Moto Team, KTM RC 125: "I started in Motocross and in 2006 I switched over to asphalt racing. It's been getting a bit better each year. Last year in the IDM I was able to fight for top five places. The KTM 125 accelerates much better in the first three gears than my old bike, so I'm hoping that this season I'll be right up with the guys at the front. I feel very good in the HP-Moto-Team of former GP rider Peter Oettl's. If possible I'll try to win the championship and the No. 1 plate."
IDM Championship Calendar 2011
07.08. Schleizer Dreieck
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