After 12 years and 10 Dakar podiums, 5 of which were victories, Cyril Despres and KTM have jointly agreed to go their separate ways, leaving Cyril free to explore new challenges and new horizons.
“I have spent a large part of my career to date with KTM, so as you can imagine it wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly. They were great years, very fruitful, both professionally and personally, and I owe much to everyone at KTM , especially the ‘boss’ Stefan Pierer, whose enthusiasm for the sport of rally-raid matches my own. I would also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Heinz Kinigadner and Head of Motorsport Pit Beirer and everyone in the rally department. When I arrived it was run by the much missed Hans Trunkenpolz, who taught me how to develop a rally bike, and whose work is now being very ably continued by Stefan Huber. Finally, I say a very fond farewell to my factory mechanic throughout all that time, Roland Bruckner, and my support rider during the last four Dakars, Ruben Faria, who I wish all the best for the future.Although I say goodbye to all these people, I am sure I will be seeing many of them again very soon, as, with the continued support of my long-time partner Redbull, I will most definitely be staying in the sport. It is a little too early to give any more details, suffice to say I am extremely motivated by the new challenge I am about to embark on and look forward to giving you further details in the very near future.”