\Although only in their second season in the premier class, KTM MotoGP squad have sounded their intent to challenge for prominence on the grid. The team have progressed from a satellite squad to a full-fledged factory squad within a year.
This year, the team is pitting four KTM RC16s on the grid, all carrying a 2020 spec. The KTM riders for 2020 season are Pol Espargaro, in his fourth season with the team, rookie Brad Binder, Miguel Oliveira year two rider and another rookie Iker Lecuona. Espargaro is a MotoGP veteran, while Binder has been a regular at KTM who captured the Moto3 title a year ago. He moves up to MotoGP with KTM this season.
All KTM riders have already completed both a private and official IRTA test so far since January and will lap Losail from 22 February for three days in the final dialling-in outing before Grand Prix action commences at the same venue in early March.
2020 Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16 challenger
Red Bull KTM Tech3 boast some novelty factor for 2020 with their ‘Organics by Red Bull’ livery and a fresh look for the crew. The potential of the third generation of the KTM RC16 is eagerly anticipated after the firm expanded their test team efforts with the experience of former champion and Repsol Honda man Dani Pedrosa complimenting the long-standing knowledge of Mika Kallio in 2019.
KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer commented, “2020 is about to begin and I would say we are exactly where we expected to be. We’ve had everything on a road map and have followed it with the full support of the company and the board. Last year we worked with a satellite team and four riders that provided valuable feedback and the groups spurred each other on, but, at the same time, it pushed us to the limit for resources and raised us to the peak where we are now. I would not say we have a ‘satellite team’ now but instead we are a KTM ‘pack’ with friendship and trust, and I include our test team in that whole organization.”
Apart from MotoGP, KTM has fourteen KTM RC4 riders in lower category; namely the Moto3. KTM also supplies bikes to riders participating in the 2020 seven-round Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and the brand-new Northern Talent Cup series.