KTM outlines new plan to boost MotoGP presence after rejection by satellite teams

KTM outlines new plan to boost MotoGP presence after rejection by satellite teams

KTM’s intentions to acquire the three current satellite teams were rejected, but they now have a fresh strategy to increase their presence in MotoGP.

There was no agreement reached to bring Gresini Racing, LCR Honda, or RNF Aprilia under the KTM wing.

KTM’s aim is to increase the number of bikes in the 2024 MotoGP grid to five or possibly six.

Pit Beirer, KTM’s director of motorsports confirmed he spoke to Gresini, LCR and RNF in an interview with Speedweek.

“There was a reasonable conversation at the French GP,” Beirer said. “Two weeks later they came to a new agreement with their current manufacturer [Ducati]. From their point of view, that makes sense.”

“There were no intensive discussions with Lucio Cecchinello. We just asked about his contract situation. When he informed us that he had a Honda contract for 2024, the conversation ended.

“We don’t want to negotiate with anyone who has a valid contract for the coming season. We don’t support a culture of snatching teams that are under contract from other manufacturers.”

“We got the clear answer from Razlan Razali that he has an Aprilia contract for 2024. That ended this topic.

“We will not try to wrestle a team from a manufacturer. Especially not if this plant only has one customer team.”

Next season, KTM will continue to field factory team riders Jack Miller and Brad Binder. However, the current Tech3 GASGAS duo Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez are also under contract, and they have offered Moto2 star Pedro Acosta an entry to MotoGP.

To accommodate an additional rider, KTM have a different strategy.

“Our efforts, wishes and efforts are still going in weekly talks with Dorna to get more places,” confirmed Beirer. “We’re trying to get a fifth place. If we are told that the number five is awkward because there are only two-rider teams, we would also use six.

“So we’re trying with all our might to get additional places. The negotiations are difficult. But we don’t want to give up our five riders, we want an additional slot.

“That is our goal for this summer. By the end of the summer we want to have a solution on how to keep the five riders with us.”

The manufacturer is open to a one-rider team led by Aki Ajo and featuring Acosta on the bike.

“Our favorite version would be to get two more MotoGP places through Aki Ajo,” Beirer said.

Another possible strategy is to use Espargaro as a test and backup rider and offer Acosta the Tech3 GASGAS seat for the upcoming season. Many riders’ and teams’ contracts will come to end in 2025, giving KTM the opportunity to launch a second satellite outfit.

“I know that some contracts will expire at the end of 2024,” Beirer said. “We will definitely have talks about that.

“We are just at the point where another step in MotoGP would make sense for us because we have so many young riders with us. And our bike has developed very well, although we must not lose focus and keep improving the KTM before we spread too much.

“Perhaps the lack of opportunity also protects us from the danger of growing too quickly in MotoGP.”

Leave a Reply