KTM deny 600cc GP assault

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KTM management have again denied the shock decision to quit the 250GP class at the end of 2008 was to focus on a new factory effort for the future 600cc four-stroke class.

A controversial new 600cc class is planned for introduction in 2011 as a replacement for the current 250cc two-strokes.

KTM and Aprilia blasted the plans, and the Austrian factory dropped a bombshell late in the ’08 campaign when it announced it would quit the 250cc series immediately to focus solely on the 125 series next year.

KTM chief Harald Bartol has again denied the withdrawal was motivated by a potential move into the 600cc class.

Bartol was one of the most scathing critics of the 600cc proposal, and he told MCN: “The rules are complete and utter nonsense. I’d like to develop a race engine, not some… well I don’t even have a name for it, so we will not be entering.”

Bartol said KTM had no desire to be part of a class he describes as ‘nonsense’ and reiterated that the decision to withdraw from the 250 class was down to the global economic crisis.

“This is not racing and I knew we were heading to a mono cup or whatever. Why should we spend money and develop a new engine when the rules mean you can buy a better one in the shops? The new class is nonsense. Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati, Aprilia and KTM is not interested in this class, so we know who is and who pushed, “said Bartol.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt