The KTM group can't find a racing discipline it doesn't want to dominate, and now its gaze has turned toward the American Flat Track (AFT) Championship for 2019. KTM announced last year that it would bring a factory team to the series, and now the lineup is official.
The two-rider squad will compete in the AFT Singles Championship, for single-cylinder 450cc four-strokes. This is kind of like the 250 class of supercross and motocross. In Flat Track, the Twins division is considered the premier class, but it's easier for KTM to get its feet wet racing on the familiar 450 platform. However, the brand has left hints that its new 790 twin engine might make a good platform in the big class later.
As for this year's team: Dan Bromley won the 2018 AFT Singles Championship riding, yes, a KTM, so he's a natural fit for the 2019 factory squad. His teammate is Shayna Texter, the sensation of the series, because she wins races straight-up against the guys. Texter led the points for much of the 2017 season, and finished third in points in 2018. Texter rode a Husqvarna in '18, so she, like Bromley, is already familiar with the bike. These two riders combined for seven wins in 18 races last year.
“With having a support effort last year, I look forward to having the full-factory backing in 2019," said Bromley in a Red Bull KTM statement. "Teaming up with Shayna, I feel that the team will be a force to be reckoned with and I look forward to continuing my momentum from the 2018 season.”
You know what's cool about Bromley? A year ago he only had the budget to make the first three races of the season. But then he won the season-opener in Daytona, took the points lead, and started getting more support. Now he's a factory rider. That's quite a story!
Texter, who also hails from Pennsylvania, finished third overall in AFT Singles in 2018 with three race-wins and eight podium appearances. Texter began her professional racing career in 2008 and since then she has earned 15-career AFT Singles wins, the most of any other rider in the class. In 2011, Texter became the first female to win an American Flat Track National main event and she continues to pave the way for women in racing.
"I’m really excited to have the opportunity with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team!" said Texter. "I learned so much this past season running my own program but it’s a dream to be joining a team with a winning culture that is always ready to race."
Chris Fillmore will be the team manager for the squad: “KTM is very excited to announce these two riders for the new Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Flat Track Team and I, personally, am looking forward to another step in my career and the learning experience of being Team Manager. Dan Bromley is the reigning champion in the AFT Singles class and Shayna Texter is the winningest rider in AFT Singles history, so we couldn’t have asked for a more ‘ready to race’ lineup this season. Both riders have incredible potential and we can’t wait to get the season underway. Building a new team and program from the ground up is not short of challenges, so I would like to personally thank the KTM Motorsports team, Dan and Shayna, as well as our team partners Red Bull, Roofsystems, Motorex, WP, Akrapovic, Renthal, Dubya, Hinson, HBD MotoGrafx, MotoMaster, Acerbis, Twin Air, Alpinestars, Red Torpedo, KTM Powerparts, KTM Powerwear and Wings for Life."
The 2019 American Flat Track Championship kicks off at Daytona on Thursday, March 14th.
Main image: KTM/Simon Cudby