Lierop, Holland – It was just announced at a press conference here the 14th round of the World Motocross Championships by KTM boss Mr. Pierer that KTM has signed Roger De Coster to a multi-year agreement to run KTM’s North American Supercross & Motocross efforts starting in October.

Roger De Coster said it was difficult in leaving a company he has had 25 years overall involvement with Suzuki, including winning 5 World Motocross Championships, but they only offered him a one year agreement. (Video below)

It's Official - Roger De Coster joins KTM - Photo 1 of 2

Stefan Everts, Pit Bierer, Mr. Pierer, Heinz Kinigardner, Claudio de Carli, and Antonio Cairoli at press conference announcing Roger De Coster’s signing with KTM.

It's Official - Roger De Coster joins KTM - Photo 2 of 2

Here is KTM’s official press release:

KTM signs 5-time World Motocross Champion Roger De Coster to manage its US factory supercross and motocross team

KTM, the market leader in offroad motorcycles has signed Roger De Coster, one of the true icons of the sport of motocross to take over the management of the company’s new factory team in the USA. Work now immediately begins to prepare the team for the 2011 racing season in all of the major US competitions.

The signing of De Coster represents a major step forward in vaulting the Austrian company into the global arena. KTM has already reached the top level of the sport in Europe and the World Championship MX GP series and will now also be a dominant force in US competition.

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said the signing represented a new and exciting era for the Austrian-based company: “The acquisition of Roger De Coster to take over our factory team in the USA heralds a new era for KTM. We now enjoy a worldwide network and we are a real global player. Roger De Coster is one of the great figures in the sport of motocross and we are delighted that he has agreed to manage our new team. KTM is now “Ready to Race” in the biggest and most competitive motocross competitions in the world.”

Pit Beirer, who heads KTM Offroad Sports Department, said the signing of such a personality as Roger De Coster completes the circle whereby KTM has great riders, has been enjoying unprecedented success with its latest motorcycles and now has team leaders in place that will make it a dominant force on both sides of the Atlantic.

Pit Beirer: “We are honored that we can welcome a man of Roger De Coster’s credentials and stature into the KTM family. With him as the head of our new KTM USA factory team we will be a major force in the USA and Europe and we want to attract the very best American riders into our team. Roger has had a superb racing career and a distinguished and successful career in team management.”

Roger De Coster was born in Belgium and is a long time resident of the USA. Known simply as “The Man” when he was racing, De Coster was one of the sport’s most decorated riders. He was always admired for his smooth, controlled riding style and his late attacks on race leaders in a career where he won a record 36 500 cc GP victories. He was also a Gold Medalist in the 1964 International Six Day Trial, a four-time winner of the Trans-AMA series and won the 1964 Belgian Observed Trials National Championship. Since retiring from active racing, De Coster has been a prominent managerial figure in the USA racing scene and has also managed Team USA at the Motocross of Nations.

Here is the video of the press conference from this morning

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