KTM’s Head of Motorsport has confirmed his company’s plan to race again in MotoGP, and says they already have an idea what the bike will look like.
Rumours that KTM would return to the top level of MotoGP (they currently have a strong Moto3 presence) have been circulating for some time now. Originally, the suspicion was that they’d enter Moto2, but then it was revealed they were going to jump back into the premier class instead.
“We had plans to go first to Moto2 somehow and grow maybe in smaller steps, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to build a KTM with a Honda engine inside so it would never be a real KTM,” KTM racing bigwig Pit Beirer said. “So we decided to make the big jump and go into MotoGP. We are already very busy with this and we are trying everything to get ready for 2017.”
Beirier said his company plans to start testing their prototype by the end of next summer. He expects the bike will be a V4 in a tubular frame, with WP suspension. They’re looking to make the bike in-house in Austria, with no plans to get external suppliers to build it.
“We know it will be a really tough project for us and we will need years now to step into the class and to be ready,” Beirer said. “But I’m also sure that with our engineers at home we are able to do it. It’s a long term project.
“We are at the very beginning, but we are looking forward to being part of the big show in the motorcycle world, because MotoGP is a dream for any manufacturer, to be part of the highest level of bike racing in the world.”
KTM was involved in the MotoGP series in the mid-2000s, but after a bitter break-up with Team Roberts in 2005, they’ve only been involved with the support classes.