After months of speculation, one of the final spots on a factory race team for 2019 has been announced. Red Bull KTM has inked Cooper Webb to a one-year contract, a move that will bring many changes to the multi-time 250 champion’s program. The partnership between rider and team is not shocking, because we heard that Webb originally was in talks to KTM during his transition from the 250 class to 450 class a few years back and his move to orange was one of the most discussed storylines of the summer.
In addition to the change in the bike, Webb will also relocate to central Florida in order to train in the Aldon Baker program that is offered to KTM and Husqvarna riders. Webb recently acquired a home in nearby Clermont, Florida, and mentions that he is excited to “stick to the plan” with Baker.
Webb will make his competition debut on the Red Bull KTM at the 2018 Monster Energy Cup in October.
The press release, including quotes from Webb and Team Manager Ian Harrison, is posted in full below…
KTM Motorsports is pleased to officially welcome Cooper Webb to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team for the 2019 race season. The North Carolina native will pilot the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION alongside teammate Marvin Musquin in the AMA 450 Supercross Championship and AMA 450 Pro Motocross Championship.
Webb joins the KTM family with a long list of accomplishments since his professional debut in 2013. Following a decorated amateur racing career, Webb achieved great success in the 250cc division, claiming back-to-back AMA 250SX West Championships in 2015 and '16, before putting a cap on his 250cc career in 2016 with an AMA 250MX National Championship.
Since moving into the premier 450cc division in 2017, Webb has earned two career podium finishes in AMA Supercross and multiple top-five finishes in Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross. Heading into the 2019 season, Webb is confident in his abilities and he's READY TO RACE for top finishes with the support of Red Bull KTM.
Cooper Webb: "It was an honor when Roger and Ian reached out for me to be the next guy on the Red Bull KTM team. It's really encouraging to know what this team has achieved – they really have been there and done it, so I don’t see any reason why they can't do it with me. I will be putting in the work and doing everything possible to come into the year as strong as I can be. With everything around me, I know I have put myself in the best possible position for winning on the track again. I had a very comfortable feeling with the guys from the very first moments and that just gives you confidence. Working with Aldon at the Baker's Factory is another strong part of the whole KTM set-up. I have an opportunity that really involves the whole package, so the plan is to 'stick to the plan' and focus on getting ready with the bike for Anaheim I. I don’t want anything to take me away from that!"
Team Manager, Ian Harrison: "We are excited for Cooper to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team for the upcoming 2019 season. Cooper has had an exciting and successful career winning in 250cc competition and our goal is to give him the tools to continue that success on a KTM going forward. We feel the combination of both Marvin and Cooper racing the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION in both Supercross and Motocross is strong, and our hopes are that the pair can motivate and push each other to race to their fullest potential. The Red Bull KTM Team commits to investing a lot of time and resources long-term into our riders, providing them with access to top facilities, technology and factory-backed support in order for them to have successful careers with the team. We look forward to Cooper taking full advantage of these opportunities so we all can enjoy even more success as a team and a lasting future together."
Webb is set to debut his ride aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION at the upcoming Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 17.