Rick Johnson and Sebastien Tortelli have joined forces with KTM to serve as rider coaches for the KTM Factory Junior SX/MX Team as well as the MDK KTM Factory Racing and MDK KTM Lites Teams.
After witnessing the success that ten-time World Motocross Champion Stefan Everts has had after he began coaching KTM's European teams, KTM's Director of Racing, Kurt Nicoll, decided to follow that lead by bringing Johnson and Tortelli aboard. "I feel Johnson and Tortelli have the knowledge and ability to share their skills with these riders in a way that will benefit them at this point in their racing program, but more importantly, throughout the rest of their pro career," stated Nicoll. Seven-time AMA National Champion, Rick Johnson, and two-time FIM World Motocross Champion Sebastien Tortelli have been working together since 2003. The relationship they've developed from their work together near the end of Tortelli's racing career has continued to strengthen over the years. The strength of their relationship is evident from their joint venture of the renovation and buyout of the 50-year old Perris Raceway facility and the creation of Champ Factory Schools, a riding school for riders of all ages and riding levels. Now the two will join the KTM Factory Junior SX/MX Team, MDK KTM Factory Racing and MDK KTM Lites Teams to help the riders work up to their full potential as they strive toward a 2008 championship.
Johnson and Tortelli will coach the riders on physical conditioning as well as riding technique. The Team KTM riders will gain a different insight on racing as both coaches have the ability to draw from their own personal experiences as well as those they have seen throughout their illustrious careers. In addition, each rider will benefit from having unlimited access to the Perris Raceway track which will help them better prepare for their race season.
The team KTM riders were already at an advantage working with accomplished racers including: KTM's Director of Racing Kurt Nicoll, MDK KTM Team Manager Steve Lamson and KTM Motocross Manager Casey Lytle. Now, they will benefit more as two additional past champions are added to the line up making KTM's managerial staff the most accomplished of all racing teams.