British Champions Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM are expecting to confirm a potent line-up for 2015 that could involve top MXGP privateer Shaun Simpson and one of the brightest prospects of the European EMX250 scene, Ben Watson, for 2015 Grand Prix duty.
Team Owner and overseer Roger Magee is currently talking and dealing with present sponsors as well as trying to secure new backing to be able to run another lengthy international and national calendar and a GP schedule that is expected to reach 18 rounds in 2015.
A priority for the Irishman is confirming yet another term with Simpson who has caught the eye of many with his results and fifth place in MXGP as leading privateer as well as second British title (and first on the 450SX-F) in the UK. “We’d love to continue with Shaun and together we’ve had a strong year. He is not being unreasonable with his requests for 2015 by any means but it is just a matter of funding the whole set-up around him for another busy season. We are chatting with our loyal main sponsors and have some meetings in the pipeline. I really hope we will have a better picture by the Nations in the few weeks.”
If Simpson stays put (and his options for a factory-backed ride are almost over with the imminent news of Ryan Villopoto expected with Monster Energy Kawasaki) then the 26-year-old will have some serious competition for his British crown in 2015 with the signature of Steven Frossard with the Wilvo Forkrent KTM team expected to be announced after the Motocross of Nations this month.
Gossip around Simpson and the team has allegedly involved a curious lack of interest from KTM for further support; which seems strange considering the excellent profile the rider has given the brand on a stock 450 both in the GPs and in the UK.
Magee is hoping to soon close a two-year agreement with Ben Watson, which will see the exciting 17-year-old jump into the MX2 class. The Brit impressed with two moto victories in his first attempt at the EMX250 series this year and Magee believes he has what it takes to run in Grand Prix. “Ben is good enough. If he stayed in EMX250 and didn’t win it then he should have! He and his family have the contract so I’m hoping we can finalise very soon.”