KTM says ‘its time for the Next Level’ as the Austrian Factory confirms February 12 as the online launch date for its two MotoGP teams.
As its fifth season in MotoGP, KTM has labelled 2021 as ‘Round five’ and ‘time for the Next Level’ after ‘a breakthrough campaign in 2020 that delivered Grand Prix wins, a bundle of podium trophies, pole positions and new landmarks in the riders and manufacturers standings, the company is ready to strike again as MotoGP leaders this year with the KTM RC16.’
KTM came into last season with a best dry race result of sixth but finished it with eight dry podiums from the 14 rounds, including three victories.
The first was by rookie Brad Binder at Brno – in only his third MotoGP appearance – followed by two more wins for Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull Ring, Portimao) at Tech3.
Pol Espargaro also celebrated five podiums on his way to a new KTM high of fifth in the world championship, before leaving for Repsol Honda. Oliveira is switching across to the Factory team to take Espargaro’s place alongside Binder, with double Ducati race-winner Danilo Petrucci arriving at Tech3 to join Iker Lecuona.
While Red Bull continues as title sponsor of the Official KTM team, they have withdrawn from Tech3 in the premier-class. The French team is now titled as ‘Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’ and is thus expected to take on an even more orange livery for 2021.
Although KTM has now lost access to technical concessions, due to last year’s success, they are allowed to change their engine design ahead of the 2021 season. But once racing begins – like Suzuki, Yamaha, Ducati and Honda – they will not be able to make any engine modifications.
Aprilia is the only manufacturer eligible for concessions in 2021.