KTM is broadening its motor sports activities with the recently presented 1190 RC8 R and has decided to participate in the high-class German Superbike Championship. The Austrian two-cylinder bikes will be piloted by Stefan Nebel and Didier Van Keymeulen. After gathering initial experience in the 2008 FIM Superstock 1000 World Cup, KTM is now accelerating the further development of the young super sporty RC8 model range and is to take part in an international Superbike race series for the first time in 2009 in cooperation with KTM Germany. Top riders in the saddle of the KTM twin-cylinder Superbikes With the IDM-experienced German Stefan Nebel and the Belgian Didier Van Keymeulen, the team will start in a total of eight races with undisputed top riders. The 27 year old Nebel has already won the Superbike IDM title three times, the two years younger Van Keymeulen took the title in the 2005 FIM Superstock 1000 World Championship and finished with Top 10 results in the 2008 Supersport World Championship. The newly formed Superbike team will be headed by the experienced technician and team manager, Konrad Hefele. The man from Bavaria not only has the know-how from over 20 years of professional road and GP racing sport, but also guided the KTM 125 cc youth team to several IDM championship honours. “I am convinced that with the RC8 R and our small but highly motivated team we can give a good account of ourselves in the high-class IDM series. Even though a great deal of work still lies ahead of us in the coming five months, we are already looking forward with enthusiasm and excitement to the first race of the season,” says Hefele summarising his new task. Support from RC8 development team Under the leadership of the RC8 project manager, Wolfgang Felber, KTM has set up a test team parallel to the German-based race team. Its job will be to carry out further development work during the 2009 season within the framework of the very stringent IDM Superbike regulations. First tests with the Superbike version of the up to 180 hp series-production RC8 R, that will be available at dealers from spring 2009, have already taken place in Spain. An official presentation of the KTM Superbike and the 1190 RC8 R team is planned for the motorcycle exhibition (Motorradmesse) in Dortmund this coming March. So we’ll definitely be “Ready to Race” for the first RC8 Superbike project at the start of the IDM 2009 season on 24 April on the Lausitz EuroSpeedway in Germany.
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