After 10 years competing in the Dakar, the Spanish rider will now guide the riders who race for KTM.
One season after another, as part of the Red Bull KTM works team, Jordi Viladoms has tried to win the Dakar. Now he has decided to accept the Austrian marque's proposal to become KTM’s Rally Sport Manager.
The Spaniard had an illustrious career finishing second in the 2014 Dakar Rally and was runner-up in the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship two years previous to that.
KTM's appointment of Viladoms is a smart move, and a key one given the recent retirement of Marc Coma. It comes after KTM's 15th victory in the Dakar in January's edition of the iconic event, when Toby Price won.
Viladoms has been an important figure, not just for the brand but also for a new generation of riders. RedBull.com had the opportunity to catch up with the Spaniard and this is what he had to say.
Experience is key
“Pit Beirer and Alex Doringer were looking for someone who could make the team grow. After Marc Coma’s departure I become the leader in the team and everything worked just fine. It did not take me a long time to realise that at this moment I feel more comfortable as sport manager than as a rider,” said the Spaniard.
The riders believe in me. There is a lot of respect. Working with them is just a dream come true.
“I think this is the right time to end my racing career. My idea has always been the same, for me it was very important to enjoy racing. I am very proud of what I have achieved. The sport has given me a lot and I am very grateful.
“The KTM riders are just great, with a lot of talent and the right attitude about things. All of them want to keep improving. These factors have helped me to make a decision. The riders believe in me. There is a lot of respect. Working with them is just a dream come true.”
I think I can help them in some areas like navigation, mechanics, and how to stay in shape.
What exactly will Viladoms’ job be? “I will take care of all the logistics related to the tests and so on. My job is also to make sure that they have the right kind of lifestyle in and out of the races. Of course, I know for a fact that technically I cannot teach them anything any more.”
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