Courtesy of Sharon Cox
KTM rise in MotoGP has proved that the Austrian manufacturer’s mantra ‘Ready to Race’ takes on various forms of victory on and off the track. Double podiums at BMW M Grand Prix of Styria with Miguel Oliveira taking first maiden win and Pol Espargano claiming 3rd step confirmed that belief in goals across range of fields brings rewards over time.
It has been KTM’s main stand-out principle within all Motorsport disciplines to build strong base across all platforms from which development can progress within realms of bike performance, rider capability, Team work leading to success on track.
The Brand’s progressive philosophy enabled manufacture of bikes in house, with close access to R@D, engineers, Project Managers and test riders aligned to achieving goals. As stated by KTM Race Manager Mike Leitner on eve of 2020 season:
‘”We’re starting our fourth season but we’re still fresh, and other manufacturers who have a lot more racing history, are showing us how hard it is, even just to prepare an engine that doesn’t blow up after 15 laps!”‘
‘”Success is related to hard work, investment in people and development, and we don’t want to waste energy making plans that we don’t reach. We’re going to focus on our goals instead.”’
Timing has certainly been crucial to achieve goals set with KTM’s investment in supplying RC 250 R bikes for Red Bull Rookies Cup from 2012 (previously providing 125cc 2-stroke bikes from 2007).
The investment not only provided young, talented riders opportunities to learn, experience and gain knowledge to develop race-craft skills, but also put strategy in place to secure progression of riders through Moto 3, Moto 2 and the latter MotoGP.
The complexities of refining performance from ‘standing at back of MotoGP grid in 2017’ to taking 2 podiums last weekend at Red Bull Ring has been weathered through precision of addressing issues one step at a time.
Rightly so, KTM steered conviction that testing different specs of engine and chassis along with numerous bike parts encompassed objective of developing ‘more powerful and rideable bike‘. And, capitalizing on developing it’s R16 machine exclusively to work with the change to Michelin rubber worked to their favour when additional change to rear tyre compound came into effect in 2020 season.
Equally, taking advantage of concessions granted to Brands outside non-concession manufacturers, KTM gained valuable data testing pre-season at Red Bull Ring along with tests at Misano. Which brings full circle- will KTM be concerned over loss of concessions now that all important 6 points have been reached to equal MotoGP Brands top 4 status?
Hardly. That is the whole point and make-up of KTM. To achieve parity with leading constructors Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki proves KTM has matched all integrity, historical records and revered accolades accumulated by traditional manufactures whose wins cap out over 9oo MotoGP races.
To see such victory has to met with congratulations- to KTM Race Director Pit Beirer, CEO Stefan Pierer, Red Bull KTM Race Manager Mike Leitner, KTM Moto 3, Moto 2 and MotoGP riders, fans, friends and families.