• UK dealer Crescent KTM backs Front Row GB team in 2013 Dakar.

2013 Dakar KTM

Crescent KTM will be supporting the British based Front Row GB team of Stan Watt and Tim Forman as the duo take on the toughest two-wheeled event on the planet – the Dakar Rally.

Watt and Forman will be competing in ‘The Ultimate Rally Raid’ onboard two Crescent Factory KTM 450RRs, with engines prepared for the machines by ex Crescent Suzuki BSB crew chief Dave Marton. The pair has already begun their preparations for the 15-day event by competing in the recent Rally of Morocco, which saw them finish in 19th and 33rd places respectively, against a competitive field that included many full Factory teams and riders. The confidence gained from this event will stand the team in good stead as it heads towards the Dakar in the New Year.

Next year’s Dakar is a South American adventure where the riders face over 8,000 kms of gruelling terrain in a battle of endurance. The race gets underway on the 5th January in Lima, Peru, where the Crescent KTM riders will face huge sand dunes, before crossing the Andes Mountains and heading into Argentina. A broad range of terrains will face the pair during the five stages in Gaucho country, before the rally heads back through the Atacama Desert and the extreme conditions of Chile for the final four stages and a finish in Santiago on Sunday 20th January.

The Crescent KTM 450RRs had their final test run recently before travelling to Le Havre in France – with the team’s support vehicles, parts, tools and all other essentials – for scrutineering. This was the beginning of the journey to Peru ready for the race in January and the last time that Watt and Forman will see their respective machines before the Dakar is ready to start.

Watt will be competing in his third Dakar after making his debut in 2009. The Irish/British racer has over 20-years of competitive motorcycle racing experience – both on and off road – and has taken part in the World and British Enduro championships. He completed last year’s Dakar on the Crescent-backed KTM in 34th place, despite a 100mph crash, fuel issues and some contentious decisions that cost him valuable time at the hands of the event organisers. By contrast Forman is a Dakar rookie and will be undertaking this famous event with both excitement and trepidation for what lies ahead.

The FrontRow GB team is being supported by Crescent and KTM UK on this epic race of endurance as well as; Motorex, WP, Voltcom, Mototech, Michelin, Arai and Alpinestars. Watt and Forman would like to express their gratitude to all their partners and sponsors for making the 2013 Dakar possible and will be looking to reward all those associated with the team to some positive performances throughout the rally.

Stan Watt: “The team has worked hard this year, after deciding to enter the 2013 Dakar, as soon as we had completed the event in 2012. 

It didn’t take long to confirm the small changes we needed to improve the systems for 2013. Much was based around the support vehicles we would use and improvements to the standard race bikes. With the same support crew as 2012 secured, along with the addition of rider Tim Forman and mechanic Jonny Wilden, time was spent preparing physically and competing at events such as Sardinia and Morocco. 

When the 2013 KTM 450RR was released by the Austrian factory, Front Row GB sent the engines directly to Mototech in Australia and got the WP suspension to the best level to cope with the 115mph/200kg machine. These changes have been the initial big impact improvements but it is not always apparent that the Dakar revolves around good teamwork and the correct supporting structure. For the 2013 Dakar I’m in the best shape, with the best support, bike, suspension and engines. If I can hold it together for the full race then I’m confident we can pull off the expected result.”