KTM commits to top MotoGP class until 2026, but will exit Moto2

Valentin Khorounzhiy
KTM commits to top MotoGP class until 2026
KTM commits to top MotoGP class until 2026

KTM has announced it will retain a factory MotoGP programme at least until 2026, but will pull out of the intermediate Moto2 class as early as next year.

The Austrian manufacturer had joined MotoGP full-time on an initial five-year deal in 2017, and has now reaffirmed its commitment for another five years past that, after KTM CEO Stefan Pierer and MotoGP promoter Dorna's chief Carmelo Ezpeleta signed a renewed deal at the Red Bull Ring.

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KTM currently fields four entries in MotoGP - two with its works team and two with satellite outfit Tech3 - and scored a maiden premier-class podium last year with Pol Espargaro at Valencia.

"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," Pierer said.

"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."

Despite taking more top 10 finishes so far this year, KTM's solitary top six result is a sixth place for Espargaro in France.

And new signing Johann Zarco has struggled to adapt to the bike with Pierer describing Zarco's early season form as "unacceptable".

Alongside the announcement of a MotoGP extension, KTM confirmed it will exit Moto2 as a chassis manufacturer next year.

KTM has had a difficult Moto2 campaign so far this year following a switch to the new Triumph engine package, although in-season development has allowed its MotoGP-bound rider Brad Binder to score a pair of podiums at Assen and the Sachsenring.

KTM also says it will increase its involvement in the lightweight Moto3 class, and that sister brand Husqvarna will aim to enter the category in 2020 with its own bike.

"We want to boost Moto3: it is the foundation and the base of road racing for us," Pierer added.

"It is where we began and where we are one of the leading brands."

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