"I'm honoured and excited to take on the responsibility to lead the U.S. ISDE team in 2012," Kallonen said. "The team is well established, but my goal is to bring the team together as a whole and work on the small details that are needed to take the team to the next level. One of my main focuses is going to be the riders and the preparation for the event. This will make the race-day operations easier so all the riders will need to do is to focus on doing their best on the track, knowing they have the best support possible behind them."
Prior to working for KTM North America, Kallonen raced the FIM MX World Championship from 1998-2002 until injury forced his retirement. His initial stint in the United States was as the mechanic for Juha Salminen. In his six years as KTM's off-road team manager, the factory team has won 28 national off-road titles.
The new structure of the ISDE team follows the successful model the AMA has long used with regard to the Motocross of Nations, which it has won a record 22 times.
"In much the same way that Roger DeCoster guides the U.S. effort in the Motocross of Nations, Antti will lead us in our journey toward an FIM World Championship in ISDE competition," said AMA Off-Road Manager Chuck Weir. "Antti's experience running a race team is evident in KTM's success in premier U.S. racing series, and we're excited that he's on board to help lead us toward the United States' first ISDE title.
"Also, just as Roger works with riders from all teams, Antti will welcome and support riders regardless of what bike they ride," Weir continued. "While we obviously appreciate KTM North America's backing of riders every year, the U.S. team at the ISDE will continue to feature qualifying riders on any brand of motorcycle."