On the heels of the Austrian GP (Andrea Dovizioso passed Marc Marquez right at the end, to take the win), KTM has announced some changes for the 2020 season.
KTM will be pulling out of Moto2 competition next season. Currently, KTM provides chassis for the Ajo team, but that’s not going well this season. KTM’s chassis hasn’t matched well with the new Triumph 765 engines, so KTM is pulling the plug. There’s no word yet on where Ajo plans to source a new chassis from next year.
KTM has confirmed it will return to Moto3 next year, though, with two riders aboard the Ajo Moto3 bike. It will also work with a Husqvarna-branded team (remember, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer owns a controlling interest in Husqvarna as well). The Husky team’s machine will not be an exact copy of the KTM bike, says David Emmett.
Finally, KTM and rider Johann Zarco are splitting up. Zarco rides for the KTM factory team in MotoGP, and his results have been less than hoped for. According to KTM’s presser:
“Johann Zarco and Red Bull KTM will not complete the second season of a two-year agreement together in 2020. The former Moto2 World Champion and the factory team have mutually decided to end his stint in orange at the end of the 2019 campaign.
The 29 year old joined KTM towards the end of 2018 after his second term in MotoGP and for his first with full-factory support. Zarco tried to adapt his riding style to the KTM RC16 and the team tried relentlessly to mould the #5 machine to the Frenchman’s wishes and requirements while teammate Pol Espargaro made regular Q2 qualification appearances and persistently vied for top ten positions.
Ultimately both Johann and the team decided not to proceed with their joint project for 2020 and will now focus on giving the maximum for the final eight rounds and remaining months of MotoGP 2019.”
We’re sure a replacement will come along soon enough, as MotoGP never lacks for discontented riders looking for a better deal elsewhere.