“Big Ken” will be on Yamaha for 2010.
A solid performer in recent years, the giant of the motocross paddock will now be on a Yamaha. He raced as Kiwi Josh Coppins’ team-mate at CAS Honda a couple of seasons ago and more recently has been part of the Teka Suzuki factory team, alongside Steve Ramon.
As teams reshuffle ahead of the 2010 season, with everyone keeping a close eye on budgets, there was no room for De Dycker to stay with Suzuki as they opted for Clement Desalle (MX1) and Ken Roczen (MX2) for next season.
Winner of 2009 MX1-GP Grand Prix events in the Netherlands and Belgium, de Dycker will now steer the new YZ450F for the Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci Motocross Team in the 2010 FIM Motocross World Championship.
The 25-year-old Belgian will be another of Yamaha’s main threats in the MX1-GP category, along with 2008 world champion David Philippaerts in the Yamaha Monster Energy MX squad, while his team-mates in the Italian set-up, Loic Larrieu and Alessandro Lupino, will retain the crew’s links and connection with the MX2-GP class with the revised YZ250F.
De Dycker is considered a viable prospect for the 2010 title thanks to his track-record of four victories, 15 moto triumphs, nine pole positions and 19 podiums since 2006 and his status as a runner for the MX1-GP crown for the last two seasons.
The former British and German champion will take on the responsibility of adding garlands to Yamaha’s unparalleled record of success and five titles in the six years of the MX1-GP competition. He will also share, along with Philippaerts, the on-track duty of developing the new YZ450F.
Larrieu has impressed in his debut season as a world championship regular. The talented French teenager has been learning the tracks, speed and demands of the series and from a largely positive campaign can look back at his maiden podium result at Ernee and his home round as an undoubted highlight.
Lupino, a Yamaha rider since making his first appearances at the highest level two years ago, was unlucky to suffer an injury for 2009 but still remains one of Italy’s bright young motocross hopes.
The Ricci team boasts MX2 Grand Prix winning experience thanks to the efforts of Andrew McFarlane, Nico Aubin and Davide Guarneri in recent seasons.
Their association with YRRD, (Yamaha Rinaldi Research and Development) the technical coalition in production of race kits and further honing of race machinery between the Rinaldi Group and Yamaha Motor Europe, plays a significant role in the evolution of Yamaha’s competitive motocross output. The ongoing support of Yamaha’s motocross efforts by partner Monster Energy is also an important aspect of the 2010 programme.
The American beverage company has a sizeable and visual presence in the world championship paddock thanks to the distinctive black liveries of the factory Yamaha machines.
“We are very pleased to welcome a rider of Ken’s ability to the team,” commented team principal Ilario Ricci.
“It will be an interesting challenge for us to compete in both categories next season and also work with the two new race bikes from Yamaha and the Rinaldi Group.
“I am sure our alliance with Ken, the ongoing progress with Loic and the addition of Alex for 2010 mean that we will be able to enjoy yet more success.”
Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com