Alex Rins and Alex Marquez will ditch KTM power in 2014 and battle for next year’s Moto3 world championship on a brand new official Honda machine.
The switch to Honda has long been anticipated but former 125GP world champion Emilio Alzamora, who helps run Rins and Marquez’s KTM squad, confirmed the plan to switch to MCN during last week’s MotoGP test at Valencia.
The move comes with Honda promising a renewed effort to break the KTM domination of the 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke category.
Austrian brand KTM dominated the 2013 campaign with 17 wins out of 17 races, which included six wins from Rins and one from Marquez, who is the younger brother of new MotoGP world champion Marc.
Rins came close to capturing the world title at the last round in Valencia earlier this month. He briefly led out of the final corner and would have taken the crown had he won, but he ran wide and Maverick Vinales swept through to secure the second Moto3 crown.
Alzamora told MCN: "The plan for Moto3 next year is to have a project with Honda, who want to make a nice bike. They want to beat KTM and this is the objective. Now we have two strong riders and we have a strong technical structure for Moto3 next year and it is a very nice project. I am very motivated about this project."
Alzamora said that Rins and Marquez will race a British-built FTR frame but it was clear from results in 2013 that the new HRC Moto3 challenger needs an engine overhaul.
Alzamora added: “On the engine side Honda need to improve the performance from this year. They need to focus in this area. All areas of the bike are important but this is the main one."
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto was remaining tight-lipped about Honda’s plans for Moto3 in Valencia last week.
He told MCN: “We will do something.”
And would there be a new engine? Nakamoto added: "Something different.”