Manuel Pecino / Photos by 2Snap
At this point we all know that Mr. Stefan Pierer has a peculiar way of doing things, but the Red Bull Ring weekend surprised even those who know him best. On Sunday morning, a KTM statement arrived announcing his departure from the Moto2 category at the end of 2020. A decision that caught riders and teams by surprise. And it could not be more surprising as it was a decision made the day before! Additionally, it was not left at that, because there was a domino effect with consequences that reached MotoGP like a bomb that included collateral damage.
A decision that caught KTM riders and teams by surprise. And it could not be more surprising as it was a decision made the day before!
Just a week before Austria, KTM premiered a new version of its Moto2 in Brno that attempted to rectify the fiasco of the new KTM Moto2 with the Triumph engine. In fact, over the season the orange brand spent huge resources in this category. First, in the Czech Republic they announced that in 2020 they would reduce their presence in Moto2 from the current nine motorcycles to six. At the same time, they confirmed the Spanish rider Iker Lecuona would replace Brad Binder, who KTM ‘forced’ to go to MotoGP next year despite his reluctance.
This decision took even teams closest to the factory, such as Aki Ajo and Tech 3, by surprise. By 2020 they will have to have reinvented themselves. Tech 3 of Hervé Poncharal will change from Moto2 to Moto3, where it will become the receiver of riders coming from the Red Bull Rookies Cup. Even more curious is the situation the Aki Ajo team will be in, which KTM will finance to run a Kalex under the colors of KTM and Red Bull.
Pierer wants to focus most of the company resources on MotoGP, a project that up until now all the human resources working in Moto2 will be destined.
Pierer explains that this decision was taken to lighten the burden of his racing department, involved in all types of races, ranging from rallies, motocross, enduro, supercross, Rookies Cup, the new Northern Cup and until last Sunday, in three categories of the World Championship. A distribution that not even Honda does. Pierer wants to focus most of the company resources on MotoGP, a project that up until now all the human resources working in Moto2 will be destined.
The paradox of this situation is that a few hours after announcing the end of his Moto2 project, Brad Binder achieved, in front of Pierer and the public that filled Red Bull Ring, the first KTM victory in Motor2 of the Triumph era. And he did it with the ‘old’ motorcycle, the same that the new material should have replaced.