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Roberts-backed Bonsey ready for roadracing switch with KTM

Roberts-backed Bonsey ready for roadracing switch with KTM

One of 125cc's most exciting debutants is young American Stevie Bonsey. A former dirtbike prodigy in his homeland, Bonsey brings his unique style to the World Championship after attracting the attention of the Red Bull KTM bosses. After a test at Valencia for the team last year, Stevie was incorporated into their ranks to ride alongside Tomoyoshi Koyama and Randy Krummenacher in 2007.

One of 125cc's most exciting debutants is young American Stevie Bonsey. A former dirtbike prodigy in his homeland, Bonsey brings his unique style to the World Championship after attracting the attention of the Red Bull KTM bosses. After a test at Valencia for the team last year, Stevie was incorporated into their ranks to ride alongside Tomoyoshi Koyama and Randy Krummenacher in 2007.

With only two years of roadracing experience under his belt, Bonsey had his first contact with a road bike at Freddie Spencer's racing school. What he lacks in laps, he makes up for with enthusiasm as he undertakes what he knows will be a difficult challenge.

"I'm new to the road, but I love it. The first day I got on a CBR 600 I knew that it was going to be tough but enjoyable. It's a big task, but every time I go out on the track I learn more and more," he commented to motogp.com.

The KTM rookie could easily have stayed in dirtbiking, to achieve his childhood dream of becoming a national champion. However, at age 14 he started tuning in to MotoGP, and something clicked in his head…

"I began to watch the World Championship races, and that was it. I thought that it was the most awesome thing on two wheels. Since then my dream has changed, now I want to be a World Champion!"

One rider to have previously taken titles on the world stage is the American's manager, Kenny Roberts Sr. The former rider and now Team KR boss has taken Bonsey under his wing, and his input is greatly appreciated by the youngster. "Without Kenny Roberts Sr, I probably wouldn't be in Spain right now. He has helped me out so much, both on and off the track, and I really believe that he is my ‘ticket to the dream'. I can't thank this man enough for all that he's done for me."

It was specifically Roberts Sr who opened the door for Bonsey's arrival in MotoGP. After talks with KTM, a deal was ground out that gave an opening for his debut in 2007, something that left him more than a little excited. "I was a little shocked, but I know that having a shoe in the door isn't everything, I need to put in a lot of hard work from now on," he acknowledged.

The dirtbike style is something that has seen success in the World Championship, especially from American riders such as current MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden. Along with Kenny Roberts Sr, Bonsey lists Hayden as the perfect example of a rider adapting the strengths of dirt track skills to the asphalt, something he aims to replicate this season.

"I am definitely more used to getting the bike sideways and powering out of the turn, and also drifting into the corners. Some stuff you have to be aware of, and I think that the riders in 800cc might see the benefit of dirtbike experience more than us guys on the 125cc…you don't slide the 125cc or you're in for some trouble! The 125cc is teaching me how to use the whole track and the corner speed."

Although 2007 will be the biggest year of his sporting career, KTM's young gun is philosophical about his aims for his debut season. "Of course I want to do well, but I know that this is a learning year for me. So that's what I'm going to do; learn, and at the same time do my best. In KTM and Kenny Roberts Sr I have some great guys behind me, and I really want to thank them for everything that they've done for me so far."

Tags:
125cc, 2007, Kurtis Roberts, Stevie Bonsey

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