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Jun 10, 2019

MotoGP: KTM Is Serious About Winning In MotoGP

KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer: "We do everything in house with our young engineers. I always said, 'They will fight until they win, but we need to believe in them.' " Here, the KTM crew works on one of Pol Espargaro's two RC16 racebikes at COTA. Photo By Gold&Goose/KTM.

Featured in the June 2019 Issue of Roadracing World:

       Each year when MotoGP visits the United States, U.S. motorcycle distributors often give American journalists a chance to tour the brand's factory MotoGP team's pit box (a.k.a. garage). This usually involves a media relations person from the team giving a short guided tour of the sanitized space along the lines of “this is where we heat up the tires” and “this is where the riders sit when they come back into the box ...

       That didn't happen when KTM North America arranged a visit inside the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MotoGP pit box during the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at Circuit of The Americas. Instead, a few journalists were allowed to have a short chat with Pit Beirer, KTM’s Motorsports Director, and an extended Q&A session with Sebastian Risse, KTM’s MotoGP Technical Director.

       KTM has come a long way in a short amount of time in the Grand Prix World Championship. In 2012, KTM jumped into the new, four-stroke Moto3 World Championship and not only won the Rider Championship with Sandro Cortese but finished 1-2-3 in the Rider Championship and won the Manufacturer Championship over Honda.

       And now KTM is closing in on Honda and the other larger, more experienced manufacturers in MotoGP, and they are rightfully proud to talk about how they’ve done it ... 

(Above) Pol Espargaró (44) is the most successful KTM rider in MotoGP, with a best qualifying position of fifth and a best race finish of eighth so far in 2019, both at Circuit Of The Americas (COTA). Photo by Kohei Hirota.

Taking the road racing department in-house, letting young engineers experiment, and giving them the support and encouragement they needed has resulted in wins and Championships for KTM's Grand Prix program. Motorsports Director Pit Beirer explains how, in MotoGP, the company still has something to prove and the path it intends to take to prove it. It's all in the June 2019 issue of Roadracing World!

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