It has been confirmed that ADB Columnist and desert legend, Ben Grabham will stand down from the role as KTM Enduro Racing Team and Desert Racing Team Manager.
Effective from the end of this week, KTM has thanked Grabham for his years of hard work and his contribution to building the KTM brand in Australia.
One of Australia’s most decorated off-road racers, Grabham joined with KTM in 2009 at the height of his desert racing powers, and when he took KTM 505 XC-F to victory that June, he began a period of KTM domination only punctuated once in eight years.
He himself took the title two times on a KTM, in addition to numerous victories across Hattah, Desert Tri-Series, Forest Rally and Gascoyne Rally.
The Bathurst resident finished an impressive 15th on debut in the 2013 Dakar Rally, just eight months after a breaking his back in a 150kph crash at the Condo 750 race in April 2012.
Grabham took over as KTM’s Desert Racing Team Manager in 2014, before carrying the reins of the complete Off-Road Squad in 2015 and 2016.
His experience, organisational diligence and talent-spotting and nurturing ability – as well as the abundant skill with the throttle of those in his charge – has combined for an incredible period of domination for KTM, culminating in a 1-2 AORC finish for Daniel Sanders and Tye Simmonds.
KTM Australia thanks Ben Grabham very much for a tremendous association and contribution, and wishes all the best in his future endeavours.
Ben Grabham – “My KTM association has been some of the best years of my life, both racing and Team Managing. Obviously things have changed a lot over time; I went there as pretty much the number one desert rider in Australia, winning everything and picking up occasional wins in AORC-style stuff. My most dominant desert wins have come with KTM and I could go on forever about my good experiences but in general it’s been an unbelievable time that I’m very grateful to have had. They’ve given me great opportunities and also helped me get bolted back together when I managed to snap myself in two. I’m very grateful to have had the chance to work with Jeff and everyone that’s part of the KTM team, either in head office in Perth, or with guys like Toby, who went from being fellow competitors, to riders for me, to friends that I will have forever.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end at some stage or another. I started doing Australian championships as a rider when I was 11, and it’s been a long slog since then. I’ve just got the chance to head off in a slightly different direction that will allow me to spend some more time with the family, so it will be nice to be away from the race team and learn some other things.
It’s great to be able to leave on such good terms and after such a fantastic season.”.
Jeff Leisk – KTM General Manager:
“Ben’s done an outstanding job and achieved an incredible number of results in the time that has been with us, both as a rider and as a Team Manager. We want to thank him very very much. He succeeded at both absolutely.
Ben has always been an open book with his knowledge and information in terms of trying to develop the next riders along, and I think that was his hallmark and what helped us to build such a strong effort Toby and Daniel would thank Ben for some of their successes no doubt.
He was definitely a good talent scout, he could see the potential in a rider and then do something with it, and his preparation was second to none with his racing. He put a lot of time into the riders and making sure that they were completely at home on their bikes. But at the same time, he also made sure they had enough preparation before going in to battle.
We are sad to see him go, but we wish him the best.”