KTM is taking its next step towards the World Superbike Championship by announcing that the new 1190 RC8 R will compete in the 2009 IDM German Superbike Championship.
The Austrian company is widely tipped to enter the World Superbike Championship in 2010, but it is in Germany where they will make their SBK debut in order to ensure the two-cylinder bike is competitive enough to compete on a global stage.
The rider line-up will be fronted by Didier Van Keymuelen, the former Superstock Champion moving to the team after a season spent with Hoegee Suzuki in the World Supersport Championship. He will be joined by team-mate Stefan Nebel.
Heading the newly formed KTM team will be experienced technician and team manager Konrad Hefele, who turns his attentions to Superbikes after a 20-year history of experience in professional road and GP racing, while he has also led KTM's own 125cc youth team to success in the IDM Championship.
“I am convinced that with the RC8 R and our small but highly motivated team we can give a good account of ourselves in the high-class IDM series. Even though a great deal of work still lies ahead of us in the coming five months, we are already looking forward with enthusiasm and excitement to the first race of the season.”
The standard version of the KTM 1190 RC8 made its international debut in this year's FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, where it took a best finish of 13th in the hands of Rene Rahr.
Should KTM enter the World Superbike Championship in 2010, it will bring the official number of manufacturer entries to eight. The 1190 RC8 R will be officially unveiled in March.