FMF KTM Factory Racing rider Ben Kelley will sit out the start of the 2024 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, with Dante Oliveira set to fill in for five GNCC rounds.

27-year-old Ben Kelley has added to his injury woes in recent seasons with a torn labrum on his hip that will require surgery, ruling the 2021 champion out of competition for at least six months.

FMF KTM have announced they will maintain their two-rider XC1 Pro team in the GNCC series at five of the nine opening rounds with Dante Oliveira super-subbing alongside Johnny Girroir – Johnny G will also take on AMA National Enduro beginning February 11.

Four-time National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) champion Oliveira will start at GNCC round 1, the Big Buck GNCC on February 17-18. The 23-year-old has past GNCC experience, claiming sixth at High Point and seventh at the John Penton in 2020.


“I’m excited to challenge myself for the 2024 season! I’ll be giving GNCC racing my best effort for five rounds – let’s go!” Said Dante.

Tim Weigand, FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “We are disappointed that Ben will miss the initial part of the 2024 season. Despite facing numerous challenges in the ‘23 season, he persevered to contend for the GNCC overall championship, and we look forward to his complete recovery.

“Meanwhile, Dante will step in for five GNCC rounds. Dante, a dedicated and competitive individual, is expected to adapt swiftly and showcase his abilities at the forefront. We are eager to witness his achievements in this new opportunity.”


Photo Credit: KTM North America