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KTM exploring options after Simon departure

KTM exploring options after Simon departure

KTM exploring options after Simon departure

Last week's announcement that Julian Simon would make the move to 250cc with Repsol Honda had a knock-on effect on Red Bull KTM, the team with which Simon was set to continue with in 125cc. The team, who also see Mika Kallio going up to 250cc next season in their ranks, now have the difficult choice of deciding whether to replace Simon or not and, if so, their choice of rider.

"We weren't too surprised with Julian's departure, because we knew that Repsol Honda were looking around for a Spanish rider," commented Francesco Guidotti, Team Coordinator for the outfit. "It was very disappointing to have to see him go, because things were shaping up for a good season in 125cc, but we can still take enormous satisfaction from the fact that we have helped him grow as a rider as part of our team."

On the subject of a replacement, the team have indicated that they are looking at several young riders as part of their policy of furthering their development. Stevie Bonsey, a Californian rider, will be on track during the team's tests next week in Jerez.

Mika Kallio has been runner-up for the past two seasons in the 125cc category, and now moves up to 250cc with Red Bull KTM. With previous champions Thomas Luthi and Alvaro Bautista both also taking the plunge, 2007 was in theory the favourite for the title but, as Guidotti indicated, "the title is one on the track and not in theory! The 125cc category can always throw up a surprise, and it's a hard category to win."

"Kallio is a rider who we rate very highly, who is always in with a chance of a title regardless of the cylinder class. The plan at the start of 2006 was to move him up to 250cc, whether he managed to take the 125cc title or not."

125cc, 2006, Julian Simon

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