Remaining under the guidance of highly-experienced team manager Fabio Farioli, all four KTM Enduro Factory Racing riders will be battling for championship honours at the nine-round long series, which starts on March 25/26 with the EnduroGP of Finland.
Leading KTM Enduro Factory Racing’s charge in the EnduroGP class will be three-time Enduro World Champion Christophe Nambotin. Back to full fitness following a challenging 2016 season, the Frenchman will be looking to re-establish himself as a champion aboard the KTM 300 EXC machine.
“I have a lot of motivation going into this year’s world championship,” confirms Nambotin. “2016 was a very difficult season for me with injuries, so I want to show again that I can fight for a world championship title. Returning to a 300cc two-stroke after three years on four strokes is a change I’m looking forward to. I really enjoying being back on a 300, so I hope for good things this season. Physically I also feel good. My knee is strong again so I am ready for the new season. Racing together with Nathan in the EnduroGP class will be good. We have been training together and although we are both chasing the same title I know we will work together during the season.”
Joining Nambotin in the EnduroGP class will be 23-year-old Brit Nathan Watson. A stand-out performer during his debut Enduro World Championship campaign last year, in 2017 the KTM Enduro Factory Racing rider will be looking to challenge for the coveted EnduroGP title aboard a KTM 350 EXC-F.
“I’m really looking forward to this year’s world championship,” explains Watson. “Obviously, 2016 went better than I ever expected, so I have a great base that I hope I can build and improve on. Moving up to a 350 EXC-F was a logical thing to do. I raced a 450 in MXGP two years ago, spent a season on a 250 four-stroke during my rookie year in Enduro, so I’m looking forward to riding the 350. I’m a big guy and I like to have more power, so the switch to it happened naturally. I actually feel more relaxed this year going into the world championship. Last year everything was new to me – the series, the team, the bike – but now I know what to expect. There are a lot of riders capable of winning in the EnduroGP class and I’m really looking forward to start racing with them.”
An exciting addition to the KTM Enduro Factory Racing team for the new season is Daniel Sanders, with the Australian set to contest the Enduro 2 class of the 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship aboard a KTM 250 EXC. Relocating to Europe at the beginning of the year, the two-time ISDE Enduro 3 class champion is looking forward to his first full season of EnduroGP competition.
“Getting to race in the Enduro World Championship for the first time is awesome,” admits Sanders. “I’ve only been in Europe for a few weeks but I’m getting on great with everyone in the team and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Racing a 250 EXC will be something new for me as I’ve raced a 300 EXC for a fair few seasons now. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect this year. I’m focused on challenging for wins and hopefully fighting for the Enduro 2 title. It looks like the championship’s going to be pretty varied, with some new style races. The season opening snow race in Finland looks pretty wild. From winning the Enduro 3 class at the ISDE I know that my speed is good. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot this year, I’m ready to get stuck in and mix it with the guys in Enduro 2.”
Racing alongside Sanders in the 250cc class of the 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship will be 21-year-old Josep Garcia. Claiming third in the 2016 Enduro Junior World Championship and an impressive Enduro 1 class victory at the 2016 ISDE, the young Spaniard will enter his first full season of senior class competition on the KTM 250 EXC-F.
“Moving out of the junior class and into Enduro 2 is a big step for me, but I feel that I am ready for it,” tells Garcia. “Things went very well during the second half of last season so I am looking forward to the new competition. I’ve worked hard this winter to be ready for the world championship. It will be a long season, with many different and difficult races, but I have a fantastic bike so I have what I need to fight for the podium. I believe I can be among the top riders in the class, but I am sure I will learn a lot this year. I feel very comfortable with the other riders in the team, it is a great atmosphere and we are all ready to do our best for KTM and to help each other.”
With the 2017 Enduro Women World Championship kicking off in Spain on April 21/23, KTM Enduro Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz will be looking to successfully defend her title in the four-round long series. Remaining aboard KTM 350 EXC-F machinery the Spaniard is ready to battle for a sixth career Enduro Women World Championship title.
2017 FIM Enduro World Championship
1st/2nd Rd. Enduro 2017 – March 25/26, Lake Paijanne (FIN)
3rd/4th Rd. Enduro 2017 – April 21/23, Puerto Lumbreras (ESP) Enduro Women
5th/6th Rd. Enduro 2017 – May 26/28, Spoleto (ITA)
7th/8th Rd. Enduro 2017 – June 23/25, Paradfürdo (HUN) Enduro Women
9th/10th Rd. Enduro 2017 – July 1/2, Puchov (SVK) Enduro Women
11th/12th Rd. Enduro 2017 – July 21/23, Castelo Branco (POR)
13th/14th Rd. Enduro 2017 – September 23/24, Hawkstone Park (GBR)
15th/16th Rd. Enduro 2017 – September 23/24, Tucuman (ARG)
17th/18th Rd. Enduro 2017 – October 20/22, Zschoppau (GER) Enduro Women