As first reported today by Racer X Online, Benny Bloss will join the BTO Sports KTM team for this weekend’s 2016 Foxborough SX at Gillette Stadium. The team has relied solely on Justin Brayton in recent weeks, as both Davi Millsaps and Andrew Short are on the sidelines recovering from injuries sustained midway through the season.
Bloss claimed the AMA Horizon Award at last year’s Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National and made his professional debut at the final round of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship aboard a CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha YZ450F. His Supercross debut came at the 2016 Atlanta SX in the 250 class aboard a privateer YZ250F, but when Luke Renzland suffered a broken collarbone, Bloss returned to Rock River Yamaha for a few races. Renzland resumed racing at the Indianapolis SX and this put Bloss back to his privateer program, with limited support from the Rock River crew.
We spoke with Bloss about the deal on Tuesday afternoon and he gave us a brief rundown of the details.
“I first started talking to the team over the weekend at St. Louis. I tried to keep in touch with them as much as I could. We talked on Monday and I got the final call on Tuesday to come to California and ride the bike. Tonight I’ll fly out to California,” he said. “So far it’s just for this weekend. If Davi is not able to race New Jersey, we might be able to make it last a little longer. It all depends on his recovery and when he comes back.” Bloss already shared a few sponsors with the team, with FLY Racing and Engine Ice, and the coolant company played a large part in getting the deal together. “Engine Ice helped out a lot with the deal and Dave (Kimmey, President of Engine Ice) pushed for it to happen. I can’t thank him enough.”
The few days of testing that they’ll have in California will be important, because Bloss has no time on the current KTM models. “I think the last KTM I rode was a 2006 125SX. So it’s been a long time,” he joked. “I heard that the KTM 450 is the closest bike, feel-wise, to a Yamaha 450 so it should be close.”
At six feet, five inches tall and with prior experience on big-bore bikes, the powerful 450 should suit Bloss on the technical Supercross track being built at Gillette Stadium. “I practiced on a 450 over the winter when I was in California, when I had 250 problems. I like it a lot because there are no issues jumping the obstacles (laughs).”