KTM have unveiled their 2020 MotoGP race colours for the four KTM RC16s that will be battling for points in the elite motorbike class. Here is all you need to know:
– This is the factory’s fourth season in the premier class with the 20-race calendar getting underway with the Qatar GP at the Losail International Circuit on March 8.
– Spaniard Pol Espargaró, 28, returns for his fourth term at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing as holder of the most Grand Prix points and one podium at the 2018 Valencian Community motorcycle Grand Prix, while 24-year-old rookie teammate Brad Binder of South Africa makes his MotoGP debut.
– Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira, 25, starts his second season with Spain’s Iker Lecuona, 20, becoming the youngest on the grid in the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 roster.
– For the second season in a row, KTM will count four KTM RC16s with the quartet carrying a 2020 spec as Red Bull KTM Tech3 also gets to display their unique ‘Organics by Red Bull’ livery.
– The riders have already completed both a private and official IRTA test since January and will ride at Losail from February 22 for three days in the final preparation.
– The potential of the third generation of the KTM RC16 is eagerly anticipated with former world champion Dani Pedrosa complimenting Mika Kallio’s test knowledge.
– No less than 14 KTM RC4 riders will be learning the finer points of Grand Prix racing in the Moto3 division, while the stars of tomorrow will be battling through the 2020 seven-round Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and the brand-new Northern Talent Cup series.
“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 organisation. It’s fascinating to be able to develop insanely powerful, high-quality motorcycles – the pinnacle of motorcycling engineering – and we push the materials to the limit. Then there are the riders; Pol brings so much to this project and we know Brad very well and it is a great story for us to have our own Moto3 world champion now racing in MotoGP. Miguel will definitely put the factory guys under pressure this year and we have huge faith in Iker, who has impressed us already. Working on the Moto3 project in 2012 was the foundation of our current MotoGP programme and one of the most important steps for our racing department because it allowed us to learn fast and build with largely the same group of people. We’re happy to be able to play such a big role in that category. We will continue to give it everything we’ve got to make improvements in MotoGP. This is an important season for us. I’m convinced we have done an excellent job to be lining up with a very good motorcycle on the starting grid, but we will be measured by our lap times!”Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director, said