The newly formed ‘VRT KTM Factory Juniors’ have unveiled their livery for the 2023 racing season as the team embarks on its objective to help develop the next line of KTM MXGP stars.
The France-based squad have already accrued six years of collaboration with KTM but 2023 will see Mickaël Vrignon’s effort established as KTM’s official platform for teenagers aspiring to make the jump from EMX European Championship competition to FIM MX2 World Championship racing.
The team have recruited 16-year-old duo Marc-Antoine Rossi (French and an EMX125 race winner, pictured left) and Ferruccio Zanchi (Italian, and three times a visitor to the top step of EMX125) for their project for 2023 and armed with the KTM 250 SX-F in the EMX250 class; the final step before the world stage.
VRT KTM Factory Juniors will have a stronger link than ever to the KTM Motorsport department and will also lean on the experience of top former motocross and enduro champion ‘Pela’ Renet as Team Manager. The Frenchman has owned checkered flags at the highest level and his knowledge of preparation, race approach and strategy will be a big benefit for Rossi, Zanchi and the whole structure. As part of their ‘warm-up’ for the continental campaign, VRT KTM Factory Juniors will make their debut appearance at Ponte a Egola for the opening date of the Internazionali D’Italia domestic series this weekend.
The 2023 EMX250 European Championship is formed of 11 rounds, all running at MXGP Grand Prix events. The opening race takes place at Riola Sardo for the Grand Prix of Sardegna on 26th March and will then visit Italy, Portugal, Spain, Latvia, Germany, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey and Great Britain.
Marc-Antoine Rossi: "I am very happy with our team winter training in Sardinia. We worked hard on and off track and I am ready to start racing again in Italy this weekend."
Ferruccio Zanchi: "I am more than ready to start the 2023 season, I had a good winter prep with a good feeling on the new bike. I can’t wait for the season to start!"
Pierre-Alexandre Renet, Team Manager: “We are very happy to unveil the 2023 colors! We currently are in Sardinia to finish the winter training before starting the first preparation races in Italy this weekend. The riders feel pretty good on the bikes and the whole team is working really hard to prepare the season. We are all ready to go and look forward to start racing again.”
Mickaël Vrignon, Team Principal: “I am glad to officially start 2023 with Ferruccio and Marc-Antoine, they both worked really hard all winter to be ready and we will soon head to Italy for two preparation races in Ponte A Egola and Arco di Trento. I really look forward to those races so they can start to show their potential.”
Robert Jonas, Head of Motorsports Off Road: “We are excited about this project for two reasons. Firstly Mickaël, Pela and the guys have a good program that will surely help and benefit Marc-Antoine and Ferruccio. We really hope these two teenagers can show us their abilities and their potential. This leads us to the second reason and that’s the clearer pathway we have put in place once again for our young motocross talent. The VRT KTM Factory Juniors team is the staging point for riders that dream of racing at world championship level and to aim for our Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad. It’s a vital step on the ladder and a promising opportunity for everyone concerned. We’ll be watching the guys closely in 2023. We wish them all the best and we hope this scheme will deliver results on and off the track.”
Introducing the VRT KTM Factory Juniors | KTM