The KTM MotoGP squad has officially unveiled its paint scheme for its 2021 RC16 machine, with the satellite Tech 3 squad also revealing it is to become the marque’s second factory team.
Tech 3 has also now been renamed Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing following its move to become an extension of the Red Bull-backed main team following the exit of the energy drink manufacturer of the French outfit’s title sponsor.
The Herve Poncharal-run organisation will therefore run with an all new orange livery for ’21-KTM’s corporate colours-to reflect the extra backing afforded to Tech 3 by the manufacturer.
Iker Lecuona will tackle his second premier class campaign with the team following a difficult rookie year in ’20, the Andorran native joined by Ducati refugee Danilo Petrucci at the rebranded Tech 3 operation.
KTM’s factory operation elected to promote two-time MotoGP race winner Miguel Oliveira to its line-up from satellite team Tech 3 for 2021 following the defection of lead rider Pol Espargaro to Honda, the Portuguese pilot partnering sophomore campaigner Brad Binder.
It will run with a livery very similar to the one it has competed with since joining the premier class for the ’17 season, with title sponsor Red Bull adorning most of the real estate on the RC16’s.
KTM enters ’21 off the back of its most successful MotoGP run to date in the Covid-19 shortened ’20 campaign, the marque securing its first ever victory at Brno last year with Binder before adding another pair of wins at home in Austria and at the season finale in Portugal courtesy of new recruit Oliveira.
It also finished a best ever fourth in the constructors championship ahead of Honda and Aprilia, with Yamaha and Suzuki ending the year just four and two points clear respectively-champions Ducati only 21 up the road.
The outgoing Espargaro also achieved the firms best ever riders standings result to boot, the Spaniard taking an impressive fifth overall just four points back from the third placed Suzuki of Alex Rins after racking up five rostrum finishes across the year.