Jordi Tixier didn’t leave KTM as much
as he was asked to leave.
LETTING THE NUMBER-ONE
I am baffled as to how KTM could
win the 250 World Championship
with Jordi Tixier and the AMA 450
National Championship with Ken
Roczen and then lose both riders to
other teams. What’s the real story?
There is no mystery here. Jordi
Tixier was less than stellar during
the first half of the 2014 FIM 250
World Championships. And since it
looked like Jeffrey Herlings was a
shoo-in to win the 250 GP crown,
KTM told Tixier at midseason that
they were going to let him go to
make room for up-and-comers Pauls
Jonass and Davy Pootjes. So, Tixier
went looking for a 2015 deal and
found it at CLS Kawasaki. Then, with
four races left, Herlings broke his
femur and Tixier powered through to
win the title.
In Ken Roczen’s case, it came
down to money. KTM had a “right
of first refusal” on any contract that
Kenny signed for 2015. All they
had to do was match the amount.
Unfortunately for KTM, and
fortunately for Kenny’s bank account,
RCH Suzuki offered him so much
money that KTM couldn’t make their
books balance with the figure that
Suzuki quoted. So, KTM let him go.
Teams have budgets. RCH was willing to bust theirs and KTM was not.