Dorna Sports is delighted to announce that KTM has approved the agreement which extends the Austrian factory’s presence in the premier class until at least 2026. KTM AG CEO Stefan Pierer and Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta finalised the deal during the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring, confirming KTM will be a MotoGP™ manufacturer for another seven years as a minimum and continue their support for the Championship, including the future expansion of the calendar and any technical proposals.
KTM made their MotoGP™ debut in 2017 with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and have since passed some impressive milestones: a first podium came in only their second season with a third place in Valencia last year, and the marque are fresh from a first front row start at Brno. In 2019 the Austrian factory’s presence has also expanded to include the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 Independent Team, meaning there are four KTMs lining up every weekend in the premier class of Grand Prix racing. The Independent Team have already achieved an impressive top ten finish in the manufacturer’s home race.
With more bikes on the MotoGP™ grid and more years confirmed in the class, KTM’s commitment to the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship only continues to grow. From 2020 that also includes placing more emphasis on MotoGP™ and Moto3™.
The Austrian factory will maintain their path into the premier class from the likes of the new Northern Talent Cup and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, but there will be some key changes as KTM withdraw from their participation as a manufacturer Moto2™ at the end of the season and instead invest further focus in Moto3™.
That will include the return of the Husqvarna marque to the lightweight class. Last racing in Moto3™ in 2014 and 2015 and taking two podiums, the brand will return in 2020.
Stefan Pierer, CEO KTM AG: “We made a proactive decision here at our home Grand Prix to renew our stay in MotoGP and commit to another five years of competition. This is part of a wider strategic view and we now have seven years to rise towards the top of the MotoGP class; the same period of time we needed to conquer the Dakar Rally. We know we are firmly on the way and have made good steps in less than three years already. As part of this outlook we want to boost Moto3: it is the foundation and the base of road racing for us. It is where we began and where we are one of the leading brands. We see a very good opportunity here by bringing back Husqvarna with force; there will be a new bike and a special direction with this project. All of this movement means we will pool our resources and energy and as a consequence we will step out of Moto2.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “First of all it is fantastic for us to continue to stay in ‘sixth gear’ as a company in MotoGP and to be able to keep pushing hard to achieve our goals. With our knowledge of more than three-hundred FIM world championships in so many classes we know the ingredients to have success in racing and we are determined not to move from our objective. For this I want to thank Mr Pierer and the KTM AG board for the extra vote of confidence and for all the hard work and belief that every single person who touches this project has made so far. Secondly we have looked at the entire programme and know that our effort has to be well placed, and we believe that MotoGP and Moto3 are the main platforms for us moving forwards. Thanks to the great work and experience with Aki we can maintain a link to Moto2 and the perhaps what is the final preparation needed for the jump to MotoGP. We feel strongly that we can have this asset even though we will vastly reduce our presence as a chassis contributor. We can feel the passion for MotoGP at places like Red Bull Ring this weekend and it allows us to feed off that energy. We believe that exciting times are coming for us as a racing division and as a company.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports: “It makes me very proud to see KTM renew their commitment to MotoGP for another five years, guaranteeing at least a decade of competition in the premier class. We’re very happy with our relationship and KTM sharing our vision for the future of the Championship. Since KTM arrived in MotoGP they have impressed everyone with their dedication, hard work and the incredible progress they have made. We are thrilled to have such a packed grid in MotoGP and each factory is a cornerstone of the continued success and growth of our sport and the show we aim to give to fans every weekend.”