2015 Weston Beach Race winner Nathan Watson has been signed by KTM to race the Enduro World Championship in 2016.
EWC rookie Watson will join teammates Christophe Nambotin and Ivan Cervantes and Taylor Robert under KTM’s official awning next year.
A newcomer to enduro, Waton’s signing will come as a real surprise to many. A top ten rider in the MXGP, the young Brit has contested this year’s Motocross World Championship with Husqvarna.
“My enduro racing experience is fairly limited,” told Watson. “I’ve only done a sprint enduro in the UK a few years back. But my father raced enduro and I always used to do some trail riding.
“Even in motocross I was always a great qualifier and could get my best lap times straight away. I think enduro is going to suit me the most and I hope I can successfully continue my career in the EWC. I can’t wait for the season to begin.”
Brought over to KTM and into enduro, it will be interesting to see how Watson – son of multi time Weston winner and enduro rider Rob Meek – adapts to the EWC.
Leading the KTM Enduro Factory Racing charge will be Christophe Nambotin. The French rider, E3 World Champion in 2012 and 2013, and E1 World Champion in 2014 was hampered with injury in 2015 but still finished second in E1. He had successful surgery for a lingering knee injury immediately after the season to have ample time for full preparation for 2016.
Team veteran Ivan Cervantes, a multi World Champion stays with the factory team, adding skill, experience and stability. Cervantes also had injury setbacks in 2015 and missed the last four rounds (eight race days). He has completely recovered from his mid-year surgery and also rode in the recent Morocco Rally as a KTM-supported rider as part of his Dakar Rally preparation.
Making a move to Europe, Taylor Robert will also contest the EWC in 2016. Adding it to his SuperEnduro commitments, Robert will be a rider to watch for next year. Always fast in the ISDE, and having the technical skills necessary to finish top 10 at Erzberg, Robert could turn a lot of heads and bag a few surprise results.
Laia Sanz will be the fifth member of the team.
“With Christophe Nambotin and Ivan Cervantes we have two proven World Champions with a wealth of experience,” confirmed Alex Doringer, KTM Division Manager Enduro and Rally.
“The addition of Nathan Watson, who comes to us from Motocross, gives us the opportunity to groom a promising young talent for the future. Laia Sanz showed she is the dominant rider in the woman class and we predict another strong season of her.”