With the addition of the all-new, Moto3 category in the 2012 MotoGP Championship to replace the current two-stroke 125 races, other manufacturers were expected to join or rejoin the grid. And one manufcaturer has confirmed plans to enhance it’s "Ready to Race" slogan – KTM.
On Friday, KTM released a statement, reporting it’s planning to return to the MotoGP Championship via Moto3. The Austrian company plans to join the Moto3 grid with with Kalex Engineering of southern Germany.
Kalex is a specialist in development, design and fabrication, and currently enjoying success in the Moto2 category; Kalex rider Stefan Bradl is currently the clear leader in the world championship and the Kalex headquarters is just two hours away from KTM in Upper Austria.
KTM Engineer Wolfgang Felber and his team are currently building a "100-percent pure, in-house Moto3 racing machine." KTM says it has also "secured an exclusive partnership with Kalex Engineering and together the two companies will combine both skills and passion to develop two different, but parallel concepts, both focusing on a successful entry into the new race category."
KTM says: "The aspect yet to be finalized regarding KTM’s return to full scale international road racing is what teams and which riders will be at the handlebars of the 250 cc single cylinder four-stroke KTM and Kalex-KTM racing machines."
Pit Beirer (Head of KTM Motorsports) says: "We approach our entry into the Moto3 class with confidence. Our own plans are right on schedule for a racing bike completely developed in Mattighofen, while at the same time we have also found the best possible partner, who will present our engine at a very high and professional level. Kalex Engineering is well positioned for this in every way and just like KTM is highly motivated to develop a bike capable of winning in the new Moto3 category."
Alex Baumgärtel (Managing Director Kalex Engineering) says: "The exclusive partnership with KTM as supplier of engines is a big step forward for us. As we already have a good insight into the construction of the new KTM Moto3 engine we feel certain that we have the best basis for the drive system for our own racing motorcycle. With this combination we can continue to build on the success we have enjoyed in the Moto2 class. We are very much looking forward to the development and the 2012 season."
With the addition of Moto3, the entire MotoGP Championship will be run with 4-stroke machines: MotoGP (which will also allow a 1000cc capacity for 2012), Moto2 and Moto3.