All eyes at the KTM Factory in Mattighofen, Austria are firmly fixed on a MotoGP crown. And they don’t care how long it takes to get one. The KTM management are determined to do it KTM’s race-winning way.
The same way KTM has won multiple World Motocross, AMA Supercross and Moto3 Titles plus winning the Dakar Rally 16 times in a row.
KTM are ignoring their Japanese competitors Honda and Yamaha who have been sharing GP road racing wins since the 80’s. The Austrian factory are relying on their in-house expertise and technology to field a MotoGP machine equipped with a steel frame rather than the more conventional aluminium delta-box beam frames. And the KTM bikes will run with their own brand of WP suspension, unlike Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia and Ducati who have favoured the Ohlins set-ups.
KTM engineers and technicians have already made a great start to the 2017 season, with pre-season testing showing the new KTM RC16 GP V4 machine will be competitive in the hands on newly-signed Bradley Smith. But in typical KTM style, the Factory is prepared for the long haul and fully realise success in MotoGP will not come easy.
KTM Race Team boss Pit Beirer says.
“We are very confident that we can build our chassis slightly lighter than aluminium frames and on the MotoGP weight limit. We use a high-end chromate steel, very light with a very thin wall thickness that allows a smaller frame area for better airflow around the engine. This is why we don’t waste energy thinking about anything else.”
“We will use our expertise in tube production for very quick reaction times, to transfer the feedback from riders. It is our advantage, not a disadvantage.”
KTM’s V4 engine layout is similar to most of it’s competitors, but KTM doesn’t see top speed as an issue; instead, it recognises that corner exit acceleration is now the competitive focus in MotoGP.
“The punch off the bottom is where the engine needs to be stronger, that’s our priority – nice roll-on power for the rider. The top speed is good,” Beirer notes.
In 2017, KTM will also field a machine in the Moto2 class to join it’s now established Moto3 efforts. Now with a bike in all 3 MotoGP classes no-one can say the factory is not serious about carrying it’s off-road domination onto the tar.
When KTM’s Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaró line up for MotoGP Round One on March 28th at Qatar, the factory will make history once again.
“We don’t care how long it takes … even ten years,” said KTM CEO Stefan Pierer. “We will not give up!”