Buoyed by the huge success at Moto3 and poised to become a competitor in the MotoGP paddock with its all new MotoGP prototype, KTM seems to be hell bent in making sure they get every pie of the MotoGP racing basket. Now, keeping its somewhat traditional ways intact, KTM has surprised the Grand Prix arena by declaring its intent to race in the Moto2 category. Their Moto2 entry has been designed with the help of their partner firm WP and the first roll out of the bike will be carried out at Almeria testing this week itself. It was a surprise to the present, as this project by KTM has been kept under strict confidentiality and marks the Austrian factories entry into the intermediate class of racing as well.
Interestingly, the regulations in Moto2 makes it essential to use a Honda CBR600RR engine only and thus KTM's decision to go for this category has been a rather surprise, since the spec engine law has made many a makers stay away from this highly lucrative form of racing. In recent times, Aprilia has also said to have wanted to enter racing in Moto2, however, the Honda spec engine was an issue that prohibited the Italian motorcycle makers entry into Moto2.
As far as KTM is concerned, joining Moto2 makes up for the wider strategy for the Austrian motorcycle maker in Grand Prix. Most important of it being, the a presence in the intermediate class will help KTM to provide path for young talent to come into KTM fold through the ranks, something that should be imperative as KTM is set to race in MotoGP from 2017 onwards with their Factory Red Bull KTM MotoGP prototype, called the RC16. This is a strategy that is already working, albeit KTM's official absence in Moto2 where Ajo Team runs the Factory KTM projct in Moto3 and also run the 2015 Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco. Thus the Ajo team are the logical partners for KTM when they enter MotoGP next season.
Also, having a bike racing in the Moto2 category would complete KTM's line up, for it KTM seems to have let into the fact that they will have to participate in Moto2 with a Honda CBR600RR engine just like everyone else, and the rest of the bike will have to be developed around it. Interestingly, the sec engine supply of Honda in the Moto2 category lasts up to only 2018 season and as per the news going around, Honda is not interested in extending this contract further. For the same there have been many speculations about who will replace Honda once it decides to quit the class. However, chances of Moto2 becoming an open championship just like Moto3 and MotoGP is highly unlikely since the participating teams are set dead against any changes to the spec engine situation, since Moto2 is actually the cheapest class to race in the entre MotoGP line up.
The KTM MotoGP Prototype - RC16 during first Test outing!
In fact, Moto3 class of racing is considerably much more expensive t run for teams as compared to Moto2, mainly because of the price of machinery, despite attempts at capping costs in the junior class. It was quoted by one senior factory personnel regarding the news that the cost of competition is directly proportional to manufacturer interest in a class.
Stay with us as we bring more update on the same and till then, Watch KTM RC16 in Action during testing here!