KTM is taking on the Moto2 World Championship, announcing a partnership with its corporate cousin WP Suspension. Both companies are owned by Stefan Pierer‘s Cross Industries, and naturally have a long history of collaboration, so their partnership here is no surprise. What is significant is the project makes KTM the only manufacturer to announce plans for all three tiers of the Grand Prix road racing championship.
The Austrian manufacturer is currently working on its RC16 MotoGP prototype to prepare to enter the series in 2017. In Moto3, the KTM RC250R is one of the most popular racebikes on the grid, pushing KTM to take the manufacturer’s championship from 2012-2014.
“The Moto2 project has a great significance for us. Through our growth and long-term investments we are in a position to close this final gap in our activities in the sport of Grand Prix road racing,” says Pierer.
Meanwhile, WP Suspension brings its own championship pedigree, having backed Johann Zarco (below) and the Ajo Motorsport team to the 2015 Moto2 title.
Pierer sees the Moto2 project as the logical last link in its road racing program, which begins with the Red Bull KTM Rookies Cup.
“A young rider can gather his first experience in the Rookies Cup and then advance to our own in-house Moto3 team, then further, via the new Moto2 project into the MotoGP class,” says Pierer. “These are concepts that have repeatedly proved to be successful for KTM and WP in professional racing, and in the future we want to have riders for our MotoGP project that have advanced right through the entire KTM Academy.”
KTM will become the only major motorcycle manufacturer to compete in Moto2. All entries use the same 600cc Honda engine, which no doubt has scared off other manufacturers. Instead, the class is dominated by chassis makers such as Kalex and Suter.
[Source: KTM, MotoGP]