KTM unwraps 2022 factory and Tech 3 MotoGP bikes
The 2022 season marks KTM’s sixth season in MotoGP, having made its debut back in 2017.
From 2019 the Austrian brand has fielded four motorcycles on the grid for its factory squad and Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 team.
In what was a largely difficult year for KTM in 2021, it still registered two victories courtesy of factory team riders Miguel Oliveira (at the Catalan GP) and Brad Binder, who won the Austrian GP after boldly staying out on slicks in the wet final laps of the race.
However, KTM only managed five more points across an 18-round 2021 over its tally from the 14-round 2020 campaign – in which it won three races – on its way to fifth in the constructors’ standings, only beating Aprilia and ending up 152 points adrift of champions Ducati.
On Thursday in a joint presentation in Austria, KTM pulled the covers off of its factory and Tech 3 bike liveries – which remain largely the same as its predecessors.
Binder and Oliveira remain at the factory team, while Tech 3 field an all-rookie line-up of Moto2 world champion Remy Gardner and runner-up Raul Fernandez.
KTM’s management has also had a reshuffle in the off-season, with former Pramac team boss Francesco Guidotti replacing Mike Leitner as team manager for the factory squad.
“2021 was the most successful motorsport season ever in our group. It is amazing what we have done in one year in the road racing paddock: winning the Moto3 world championship and the Moto2 world championship and finishing 6th in MotoGP,” KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer said.
“It is super-motivating for everything in the future.
“When you start a project like this in MotoGP you want to win a race one day and to say that sounds quite simple but to actually do it is such an incredible effort from so many people involved.
“We did it. It’s on paper, but we also had to learn it the hard way; you win one weekend in that class but the next weekend you are fighting to qualify for Q2 because it is just so tight.
“The target for us now is to be there consistently every weekend, get in that top five and fight for the podium at the end of season standings.
“That must be the goal for this season. I know it is a very high one because the other manufacturers have ambitious targets as well but we are strong now: we have the team, the base, the bike and we have the riders.”
As did the rest of the grid, KTM began its preparations for 2022 in the two-day November post-season test at Jerez.
Gardner – who broke his wrist in a training accident earlier this month, but should be ready for the Sepang test next week – and Fernandez will have three extra days from 31 January to 2 February to test the RC16 in the shakedown, which is open to rookies, test riders and Aprilia riders owing to the marque still running as a concession manufacturer.
Pre-season testing proper begins on 5-6 February at Sepang, before three days of running in Indonesia at the new Mandalika track on 11 -13 February.