KTM UAE has announced that Dubai-based rider Jake Shipton will race in the opening round of the MXGP World Championship – the pinnacle of world motocross racing – in Qatar this weekend (28th February). Following in the footsteps of Sam Sunderland, Shipton is the latest rising star set to emerge from the highly successful KTM UAE Racing Team stables, which also counts Mohammed Balooshi among its top names.Shipton will be up against the world’s best motocross racers, including current champion Antonio Cairoli and current World Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto, when he competes in the Qatar round of the championship, riding a ‘Ready To Race’ KTM 450 SX-F MY2015.
Speaking about the Qatar race, 21-year-old Shipton commented: “It’s going to be tough racing against the best in the world, but I am really looking forward to it. It’s an amazing opportunity for any rider to compete at that level. I’m prepared, I’ve trained hard and I am certainly used to the conditions, so that will work in my favour. This season’s DMX (Dubai Motocross) championship standings are still close, but I have pretty much dominated the rounds I have participated in, so I have no problem mixing it up with other strong riders and battling it out for a top position.”
Shipton is currently in second place in the Dubai Motocross Championship with two rounds to go, and is also challenging for the Emirates Desert Championship, with an impressive three consecutive wins to his name. The Desert Championship finishes the weekend after the Qatar MXGP, making it busy final few months of racing for the young British-born rider.
Michael Winter, General Manager of KTM Middle East, said: “With Jake taking part in the Qatar round of the MXGP, we are once again showing that KTM is the ‘go to’ brand for anyone wanting to race on a top level. We are also demonstrating the depth of talent available in the region and the ability of those riders to make the cut at the very top of the sport.” KTM is one of the world’s leading sport motorcycle manufacturers with a strong and long-lasting background in off-road racing, which makes the bikes “the weapon of choice”, especially on the challenging terrain of the Middle East.
The Austrian brand has enjoyed unprecedented success around the world and boasts the current Dakar Rally bike champion as well as numerous world titleholders. KTM bikes also triumphed for a remarkable 14 consecutive years at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge from 2001 to 2014.