KTM will enter the three-rider lineup of Sandro Cortese, Arthur Sissis and Danny Kent in the 2012 Moto3 class in the manufacturer’s return to Grand Prix road racing.
The Austrian manufacturer last competed in the World Championship in 2009, racing in the 125cc Grand Prix class. KTM’s return comes as the 125cc class is being replaced with the new 250cc Moto3 class. Cortese, Sissis (pictured above) and Kent will ride KTM’s new Moto3 machine for the Red Bull KTM AJO team, led by Team Manager Aki Ajo.
Cortese is the most experienced of the three riders. The 21-year-old German rider competed in the 125cc Grand Prix class the last seven seasons and is coming off a career year. Cortese finished fourth in the 2011 125cc Grand Prix with two wins and six podium finishes.
Sissis, a 16-year-old Australian racer, is a graduate of the Red Bull Rookies Cup program, finishing second overall to Lorenzo Baldassarri. The Rookies Cup uses KTM 125cc race bikes which should help Sissis’ transition to the new 250cc Moto3 machine.
Kent, who turns 18 today, is another graduate of the Rookies Cup program, finishing second in 2010. This year, British teen competed in the 125cc Grand Prix class, riding an Aprillia RS125 for the Red Bull AJO team. Kent finished 11th in the championship with eight top-ten finishes including a fourth-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Ajo will field another two riders to be announced with the KTM Moto3 race bike. KTM is also supplying engines to Kalex Engineering which is producing its own chassis. In total, KTM expects to have nine riders using its 250cc engines in the inaugural Moto3 class.
[Source: KTM, Photos by GEPA pictures]