KTM has become the latest organisation to formally confirm its place on the MotoGP World Championship grid for another five seasons, allowing it to remain in the premier class until 2026 at the very latest.
While all six manufacturers are expected to put pen to paper on the new Dorna contract cycle that stretches from 2022 to 2026, KTM has previously made it very clear it planned to remain in MotoGPfor the foreseeable future.
The announcement comes on the back of a spectacular upturn in performance towards the end of its first-ever contract period, with three wins achieved during the 2020 MotoGP season.
In addition, the deal confirms Tech 3 Racing – the satellite effort that secured two of those wins with Miguel Oliveira – remains on board for five more years to ensure four factory-spec RC16s will grace the grid.
“I’m extremely happy to be able to announce this new five-year contract with Dorna,” said Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dorna especially and Mr Carmelo Ezpeleta and his whole team because we’ve had four great years together already and they are a really professional partner in this important sport.
“After only a few seasons we have put this project on a very solid base, so it is a positive step to continue our MotoGP involvement up to 2026.”
KTM emerged as the standout improvers in 2020, its fourth season of MotoGP competition following its debut in 2017, landing three victories between Oliveira and rookie Brad Binder, while Pol Espargaro achieved five podiums en route to a best-ever fifth in the overall standings.
It comes after an intense period of development work in the run up to 2020 spearheaded by former Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who came on board as test rider in 2019.
“Entering MotoGP was a big move into a big championship and we knew the odds were against us but the energy and the ideas and the desire from our side was never a doubt,” added Hubert Trunkenpolz, KTM AG Member of the board (CMO).
“In just four short years we have become part of the establishment and have pushed the orange further up the standings. We are proud of the profile and the prestige of not only being in MotoGP but having an impact at this level. We can see the influence of MotoGP success across the business as well as the significance for the brand on a global stage. We’re only too happy to remain part of the MotoGP paddock with our current structure and some promising projects ahead.”
The press release from KTM makes no mention of its plans in the Moto2 and Moto3 categories. Having withdrawn its chassis from Moto2 competition, KTM retains a presence as key backer to the Ajo Motorsport outfit, while in Moto3 its chassis remains popular and will also be entered under the GASGAS and Husqvarna brands that KTM own in 2021.
In the MotoGP class, with Espargaro switching to Repsol Honda, Oliveira steps up to join Binder in the factory team, while two-time race winner Danilo Petrucci is paired with Iker Lecuona in Tech 3 KTM.