British Championship results

Hitachi KTM Fuelled By Milwaukee withdraws from 2023

Sadly, the saying “no news is bad news” proved to be correct today as one of the biggest teams in the British paddock, Roger Magee’s Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee squad, announced that they are not able to compete in 2023 on either the British or World stage as they had planned.

Words: Ben Rumbold / Press Release | Lead Image: ConwayMX

The team had been notable by their absence of announcements amongst a real shuffle of riders in the UK, and its unclear if their riders will still race on British soil this year.  After a disastrous 2022 which saw both of their hot MX2 properties, Swede Isak Gifting and Dutchman Kay Karssemakers, suffer injuries throughout the year, the words from Roger Magee sound fairly terminal as he summarises the team’s journey so far:

“There have been many stories and it has been a long road since we started the team to help the Simpson family back in 2005. In almost twenty years we’ve had some amazing success. I’m not sure if I could ever have imagined the project to run as long as it did and with so many achievements. The team was built on passion and went through some very tough times but this latest obstacle has been too much to jump over on this occasion. We did all that we could to maintain our plans for 2023 but we had to take a decision before the season came any closer. I want to thank Team Manager Bryan Connolly, all the mechanics, and all the people that have stayed loyal to us for so many seasons. Importantly this also includes Hitachi, Milwaukee and all of other sponsors for their enduring support. I can only send my best wishes to our main riders – Isak Gifting and Kay Karssemakers – because I know they will have strong futures in the sport. Lastly, I’d like to thank my family and all of those who have helped and believed in the team. It’s been one of the most memorable episodes of my life.”

Based on that, It’s looking fairly unlikely that we’ll being seeing them back on track in the near future, which will leave a big hole in the British Championship and MXGP paddocks.  It also leaves KTM with the Gabriel SS24 team of Shaun Simpson, Triston Purdon, and Taylor Hammal as their main representation in the UK.  Magee’s team also ran Cole McCullough in the Youth 125 British & European Championships, so we also hope that the promising youngster can find a decent replacement ride to help his progress through the ranks.

The team has won thirteen British titles since it started in 2005, fielding riders such as Shaun Simpson, Steven Sword, Gordon Crockard, Ben Watson, Graeme Irwin and Conrad Mewse.  Gifting was leading the British MX2 championship chase when injury struck at Blaxhall last year.

Their top international success has included an MXGP podium with Kevin Strijbos in 2012, and two MXGP victories with Shaun Simpson in 2015 when he finished 4th in the world and top KTM in the premier class.

At MX Vice, we wish all the best to the riders and team staff who are currently looking for employment.