KTM’s tough Yamaha/Honda MotoGP stance takes aim at Dorna – The Race

KTM has made no secret of its desire to expand its presence in MotoGP from four to six bikes for 2024.

Supporter of the Dorna series has so far successfully resisted.

But now with KTM’s support needed to ensure a rule change happens that Dorna sees as invaluable, could some hard bargaining finally give KTM what it needs?

One reason KTM wants to increase its presence on the grid is the rider conundrum it finds itself in for 2024.

So far he has already signed up five riders to fill his four current grid spots (two each in the Red Bull-backed factory team and Gas Gas’ Tech3 satellite squad).

If it doesn’t find a solution, one of its current riders is set to take the seat to make way for Pedro Acosta from the lower division, who has been promised a 2024 MotoGP graduation with the KTM group.

That left recent KTM returnee Pol Espargaro and reigning Moto2 world champion Augusto Fernandez facing uncertainty. With Espargaro having missed so much of his first season back in the KTM fold after Honda due to the serious injuries he suffered in practice in the season opener in March, his shift into a development role could be tough. So it looked like KTM might try to convince Fernandez of the value of trying to become a double Moto2 champion and put him back there for 2024 to buy himself another year to get his extra MotoGP entries .

There is also the matter of Marc Marquez. On paper he’s a Honda contract racer for next year, but KTM is his only realistic escape from the nightmare that is the current RC213V, thanks to both his competitive bike and the financial resources of both KTM and Red Bull partner. If Marquez wants to leave, then KTM could – if they had two more bikes on the grid.

He tried several strategies to create that opportunity as well, first by trying to add two more bikes to the grid (most likely run by current Moto2 and Moto3 powerhouse Ajo Motorsport and possibly under the Husqvarna brand) and then by taking on another team on the grid. with LCR Honda confirming talks went nowhere.

There remain two spots on the grid that would make even the first of those options an obvious possibility, too, thanks to Suzuki’s withdrawal – but Dorna insists those two spots remain reserved for a factory-only team even though there’s no indication for something like that. a Suzuki replacement anywhere in sight.

KTM appeared to be out of options at the British Grand Prix last week, although motorsport boss Pit Beirer was still pushing for a miracle.

“I will confirm that we don’t stop pushing and trying to find solutions to get more bikes on the grid,” he admitted on the MotoGP telecast. “And that may not even have much to do with the situation with Pedro’s entry. This is a goal.


“We are talking to different groups. But there certainly isn’t a really big solution or a great solution on the table right now for next year. So much talk…no news today.”

However, it is very possible that the miracle has now arrived for KTM – or, at least, found a way to restart the conversation with Dorna, this time thanks to the promoter’s desire to make changes to the rules and the fact that all The manufacturers of MotoGP have veto power over major rule changes.

It’s no secret that Dorna wants to tweak MotoGP’s concession rules to help bring its two struggling Japanese factories back to competitiveness, with sporting director Carlos Ezpeleta telling Radio Catalunya a few weeks ago that the return of Honda and Yamaha on the pace was a priority for the series to tackle.

“We are working to be able to help not only Honda but also Yamaha so they can get back to being competitive faster,” he explained.

“Honda and Yamaha have been very careful about concessions in the past, which were very fundamental for Ducati to be competitive, for Suzuki to be competitive very quickly, for KTM and Aprilia to enter the world championship and be competitive.”

Given the fact that KTM has something it would like to exploit from Dorna, it is perhaps not at all surprising that Beirer gave an interview to German publication Speedweek clearly stating that any attempts at additional benefits to Honda and Yamaha will be solid . opposed by KTM.

“We will not support this proposal,” Beirer said. “There is a reason for that. Yamaha was vice world champion in 2020 and 2022 and world champion in 2021. Honda has conceded too many concession points in the last year and a half with podiums for Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro and a win for Alex Rins and is therefore ineligible for these concessions.


“We find that none of the brands are able to justify the revival of these manufacturers through new concession regulations. These are good, proud works, they will find their technical way. But no concessions are needed.

“What do other manufacturers who have raced for the top have to say?

“How long is Ducati fighting to get back to the top after 2007? Both us and Aprilia are fighting.

“Just because Yamaha didn’t win a race this year doesn’t mean they need to make concessions.”

All’s fair, as they say, in love and war – and it’s not hard to imagine a world in which KTM’s opposition to changing the concession regime could disappear if it were granted its extra grid place. It’s a consequence of MotoGP giving each factory veto power, it’s the price they may have to pay to get what they want.

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