News 3 Oct 2009

MotoGP: KTM to pull out of 125cc Grand Prix racing next year


In addition to expanding the company’s activities in the area of youth development in 2010, KTM will underscore its commitment to motorcycle racing on asphalt with series near motorcycles. The company will however not continue with a factory team in the 125 ccm Grand Prix World Championship.

KTM has decided to adjust its motor sport strategy in the area of road racing for the coming racing season. As well as an expansion in the area of youth development programs at both international and national level, the Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer is strengthening its activity in the area of series near motorcycles.

Next season, KTM will continue to place a main focus on its supported programme, the Red Bull Rookies Cup, in the context of the MotoGP-World Championship in which the most talented young riders’ race perfectly prepared KTM 125ccm production motorcycles at international level to help launch their professional racing careers. Red Bull together with KTM has created the ideal infrastructure to continue this youth development programme at the highest level.

In addition, in the 2010 season, KTM also wants to support especially selected racing teams in Germany and Austria (IDM Germany) with all of its energy and to make 125 ccm racing machines available to engaged, talented young riders.

In keeping with its “Ready to Race” philosophy, KTM will also strengthen its racing activity with the RC8 R, the Superbike flagship of the asphalt model range. Therefore KTM will be “Ready to Race” and present in the official Superbike and Superstock championships in competitions like the IDM (International German Motorcycle Championships).

Despite this clear commitment to racing on asphalt, Europe’s second biggest motorcycle manufacturer at the same time announces that it is withdrawing from the 125 ccm Grand Prix World Championship.

As well as 22 victories, 46 podium places and 19 pole positions in the 125ccm and 250ccm world championship classes, KTM also won the manufacturer’s world championship title in the 125 ccm class in 2005. KTM will continue its current engagement with the Red Bull KTM factory team to the end of the current season and support the riders Marc Marquez and Cameron Beaubier in the best possible way.

GP legend Harald Bartol will also remain with the company as technical mastermind in the area of 125 ccm racing machines, supporting national and international activities in both word and deed.

“The current situation in motorcycle racing and in the entire industry has resulted in us adapting our motor sport strategy on asphalt,“ the KTM Motorsport Department commented on the future activity. “KTM has made a conscious decision concerning the topic of youth development. We will continue to maintain this by providing maximum support and training for young talent, also in difficult times. At the same time we must be responsible for fielding salable KTM street bikes in competition. Strengthening the racing activity around our street Superbike, the RC8 R is a logical step.”