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Dirt Race Team and Orange Bikes Part Ways

All good things must come to an end

The Dirt race team has loved working with Orange Bikes for the last two years, but change is in the air.

We are immensely proud here at the Dirt editorial offices of all the hard work that race team manager Ben Reid and his assembled gang of racers and mechanics do for us. It is no easy task building a team from scratch and keeping it going year on year. The whole ‘team deal’ is a careful balancing act where the needs of both the riders and team sponsors need to be met and constantly juggled. Ben Reid is a one man band and has done an amazing job for us over the years. He has he has to be a diplomat, father, mother, cook, mechanic, psychologist, doctor, driver, accountant and more.

Dirt would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Orange Bikes, it has been a great ride and everyone is leaving on good terms. There’ll be a good few changes to the team for next year, including sponsors and riders. Check it all out below. Here’s the word from Ben Reid:

“What can I say, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with Orange for the past two years, a relatively small crew but everyone there is all about the racing and couldn’t have been more supportive towards the team, nothing was ever a problem and anything we needed we got. The new 324 is a great bike and is as effective as it is simple. I think our results over the past two seasons speak for themselves with Harry’s (Heath) consistent top 20s in 2014 and placing 12th in MSA (his best results to that date) and Jacob’s (Dickson) amazing 3rd at the World Championships as a first year junior.

2015 was another successful year for the team with Phil’s (Atwill) 19th at the World Cup finials in Val Di Sole, Isak (Levinson) breaking into the top 30 on occasion as he finds his feet again after a horrific two seasons in 2012 and 2013 plagued with injury… and lets not forget Jacob taking the BDS overall and also placing 3rd in World Cup overall, 2 National Champions this year as well with Isak winning the Norwegian title and Jacob the Irish, not to mention the teams rapidly growing fan base and huge media impact.”

Photo: Tom Caldwell

“It’s a sad day to move on from this partnership with Orange but all good things must come to an end and it seems now is that time for the Dirt team and Orange bikes. Fortunately we haven’t been short on options and we will let that cat out of the bag soon enough with our future sponsors and riders. You can only do so much when trying to keep a lid on these things and knowing how fast news travels these days I’d be surprised if a few sneakies don’t already know, you guys might even know more about our deal than me!”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Jacob the best of luck for next season, any manager will tell you that it’s far from straight forward during this sponsor and rider transfer period balancing the sponsor’s requirements and budgets and unfortunately we haven’t been able to offer Jacob the support he requires moving forward. I am very proud to have given Jacob the opportunity as a fellow Northern Irish rider to enter into the sport of World Cup racing, not going at it alone like so many riders do. It was a pleasure seeing him develop through both his junior years and between myself and his dad Mark I think we did a great job giving him the support to go out and focus on the racing, and with that said Jacob did a great job too. I think he has a bright future ahead of him and I truly hope someone can step in and continue to support him.”

Photo: Tom Caldwell

“It’s been a flat out winter so far pulling all the levers and we have a lot of exciting news to share which we hope to unveil in the next few days, hopefully you will stay tuned to find out what bikes/components/kit Phil and Isak will be racing on and who will be joining them as team mates.”

Photo: Grip Media

“Thanks again to everyone who supports the team and cares to check in on us to watch our videos and like our posts etc., it goes a long way in keeping the team alive which is one more team out there supporting riders so thank you all for enjoying what we do and for following us.”

Photo: Tom Caldwell

So, who will the team ride for in 2016 and who’s on the cards to join the Norwegian Powerhouse as well as join in on Phil’s wacky adventures? Stay tuned to find out very soon.

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