FIM, the international governing boy of motorcycle sports has recognized the skill and talent KTM's MX2 factory rider Tommy Searle, who was presented with the Jan de Groot Award for most promising young rider of the season at a Gala event in Monaco.
Also recognized at the glittering annual gala held at Salle des Etoiles in Monaco was KTM Offroad Racing Director Pit Beirer for his contribution to research on spinal cord injury and KTM's young American rider Blake Wharton, the FIM Junior Motocross World champion in the 125 cc class.
The event, held in 2007 for the third year recognizes excellence at world- and European championship level for offroad sports.Searle paired with South Africa's Tyla Rattray in 2007 for his first season of MX2 with the KTM Red Bull Racing Team. The 18-year-old was on the podium on 12 occasions in the 2007 season and won races in Sweden, Belgium and at home in Britain. Searle's exceptional talent on two wheels became more evident as the season progressed and he is among the title favourites in the class for 2008.
KTM's Blake Wharton made an impression not only by taking the title in the Junior World Championships but also racing at home in the USA in a whole range competition. The talented 15-year-old is an emerging talent who will be soon ripe for the senior international scene.