The following is a release from KTM –
The Red Bull KTM USA Dakar Rally team was in its final testing phase in Tunisia, Africa last week when Casey McCoy sustained a broken leg during one of the practice sessions. Scot Harden, the Red Bull USA Dakar Team Rally Manager has been selected to fill Casey’s riding position.
Scot Harden said, “Casey’s accident was very unfortunate. The testing had gone extremely well. Our factory KTM Rally bikes performed flawlessly. We had just finished the final suspension test session and were asked by the KTM Rally Dept. to assist them in some fuel consumption tests on one of the test 950s. The test was conducted on what is referred to as ‘Le Chott,’ a large dry lake bed of deep, wet, sand. I had just taken a couple of high-speed laps around the 30 km course and handed the bike over to Casey. At the very end of the loop Casey caught a soft pocket of sand and lost control of the bike at over 90 miles per hour. He sustained a badly broken lower leg. We transported him to a hospital in a nearby village to confirm the injury before transporting him to Europe for surgery. Loosing Casey is a huge setback to the team; however, we at KTM and all of his teammates wish him a very speedy recovery. He’ll be in our thoughts.”
In a decision made by KTM Racing Director Kurt Nicoll, Scot Harden will take over for Casey and ride the factory 700cc Rally bike. According to Nicoll, “Scot was the only logical choice. Besides being one of the best off-road riders ever to come out of the U.S., he has been integrally involved with all the team testing as well as competing with the team in the recent Baja 1000. His previous Rally experience and proven track record make him the best candidate for the job.”
“We really hadn’t planned for this eventuality,” reported Harden. “Stepping in for Casey will be a very big job. This is the toughest off-road race in the world. I will give it my best shot. I had always dreamed of doing Dakar, although not under these circumstances”.
Former ISDE medalist and adventure rider Joe Barker has signed on to assist Scot in the daily management chores. His duties will consist of helping Harden manage the team, while providing much needed tactical support throughout the event.
The team departs for the start of the 26th Telefonica Rally Dakar on Dec. 27th. The actual Rally itself begins on January 1st with the departure from the Grand Hall d’Auvergne in central France.