The Red Bull KTM factory team welcomes another new recruit this year and Dutchman Glenn Coldenhoff is the latest MXGP racer to go through the integration process with Claudio De Carli’s set-up and alongside former world champion Tony Cairoli.
Unlike Britain’s Tommy Searle who spent long stretches of the winter near the team’s base in Malagrotta (Rome), working and training on the works 350SX-F with Cairoli, Coldenhoff has been firmly in the slipstream of development on the 450SX-F that both riders will steer in the ’16 Grand Prix campaign.
“Adaptation has been going well and the bike actually feels like a 250 – nice and smooth on the bottom and really powerful from the middle to the top,” the 2015 Grand Prix of Latvia winner said. “It always takes a bit of time when you change brands but at the moment I feel pretty good.”
Coldenhoff quietly impressed through a turbulent debut MXGP year with works Suzuki backing and delivered two podium finishes, including the brand’s sole victory from the entire ’15 term.
Through a period of transition with Suzuki’s team ownership Coldenhoff’s services were not renewed for 2016 and his potential interested race bosses in Mattighofen who identified the 24 year old’s easy-going demeanour and determination as key qualities to compliment Cairoli as the De Carli collective shrunk from three to two riders.
For Glenn the factory contract represented a reunion with the brand and motorcycles he used to obtain the first of his two GP wins in 2013 at Matterley Basin (UK, MX2 class).
In 2015 he was a consistent presence in the top 10 of the premier class as he acclimatised to life on the 450. “We have already done a lot of testing that have involved some long days but good progress and I think we have a base setting with the suspension and the engine. Now it is about fine-tuning,” he added on his work this winter while admitting he won’t travel overseas for training as he had in 2015.
“No California visit this year and I will spend a lot of time in Italy working with the team and training hard with my team-mates.”
Coldenhoff’s first appearance on the KTM 450SX-F will be at Alghero on the island of Sardinia on January 31 for the opening round of three in the Italian national series.