KTM to pull out of Moto2, re-brand as Husqvarna in Moto3
KTM will pull out from Moto2 and official Moto3 competition for 2020 it was announced on Sunday in Austria by CEO Stefan Pierer.
The Austrian said the chief reason for KTM’s shock decision was to direct more resource to the MotoGP squad, which has been making small steps towards the front of the leading premier class teams recently.
Pierer also announced a five-year extension for the marque to continue in the premier class, meaning they will remain in MotoGP until at least 2026.
KTM will pull out of Moto2 all-together, leaving factory riders Jorge Martin and newly-signed Iker Lecuona without a ’20 ride for now, as well as forcing its customers to switch to new machinery for ’20.
It was announced though that KTM would continue their relationship with the Ajo Motorsport squad that has run their factory Moto2 and 3 outfits in recent years, most-likely through a branding deal on either a Kalex or potentially a Speed Up chassis.
While they will pull all official backing for Moto3, KTM will re-brand all their 250cc bikes as Husqvarnas, therefore meaning its run of success in the lightweight class can continue albeit under a different name.
“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,” said Peirer.
“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.
“As part of this outlook we want to boost Moto3: it is the foundation and the base of road racing for us. It is where we began and where we are one of the leading brands.
“We see a very good opportunity here by bringing back Husqvarna with force; there will be a new bike and a special direction with this project.
“All of this movement means we will pool our resources and energy and as a consequence we will step out of Moto2.”
KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer added;
“We have looked at the entire programme and know that our effort has to be well placed, and we believe that MotoGP and Moto3 are the main platforms for us moving forwards,” said Beirer.
“Thanks to the great work and experience with Aki we can maintain a link to Moto2 and the perhaps what is the final preparation needed for the jump to MotoGP.”