MotoGP: KTM and Aki Ajo extend partnership until 2026
Aki Ajo's Moto2 and Moto3 teams will continue as KTM's official factory entrants after a new deal was agreed between the two parties.
The successful partnership has been extended by another five years until the end of the 2026 season. Ajo's team has played a pivotal part in KTM's Academy setup, with the team principal scouting and promoting young riders from the Red Bull Rookies and CEV Junior World Championship into the GP paddock. Ajo's team teach and guide these future stars through the demanding environments of Moto3 and Moto2 in the hope of creating future MotoGP champions.
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KTM and Aki Ajo have been working together since 2012 and found instant success when the team clinched the first-ever Moto3 title with Sandro Cortese. Four years later Brad Binder secured the Moto3 crown.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team expanded into the Moto2 class in 2017 and have finished second overall on two occasions, with Miguel Oliveira in 2018 and then Binder in 2019. Oliveira also finished as runner-up in the Moto3 class in 2015.
Both riders are now MotoGP race winners with KTM. Oliveira won twice with Tech3 KTM last season before winning for the full factory team in Barcelona earlier this month. Binder sealed KTM's first-ever premier class victory at Brno last year in only his third MotoGP appearance.
“We are really happy and thankful to maintain the cooperation with KTM in the upcoming years," Ajo said. "This is already our tenth season together, therefore it feels like a natural yet great way to continue for at least five more years. The system we created together with KTM and Red Bull, starting in the Rookies Cup and continuing through Moto3 and Moto2, up to MotoGP, is quite unique in this paddock and it is working well.
"This kind of connection motivates us in our job, as we can work year-by-year with young talents, developing their skills and trying to educate them to progress in their career. We are looking forwards to continuing producing decent results in both Moto3 and Moto2."
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team has recorded 40 victories and 83 podiums in Moto3 since 2012. In Moto2 they have achieved 22 wins and 57 trips to the rostrum. They're dominating both classes in 2021 with their latest crop of future superstars.
17-year-old rookie Pedro Acosta has a comfortable 55-point championship lead in Moto3 after winning four of the eight races so far. Meanwhile, Remy Gardner leads teammate Raul Fernandez by 36 points after clinching his third consecutive 2021 Moto2 victory at the Sachsenring on Sunday.
Across both classes the Red Bull KTM Ajo team have won 10 races this season, with Raul Fernandez (2) and Jaume Masia (1) also making it onto the top step of the podium.
“This new deal is really satisfying and a real no-brainer for us," KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer added. "Aki’s team is having a great season so far but for ten years now they have been a super-important part of our structure. We are very passionate about developing our own racing talent and we invest a lot on efforts for Red Bull MotoGP Rookies, NTC and Moto3 to do this. We feel it gives us a strong connection. It is how we want to go racing and we’re thrilled that we proved that it could work in the MotoGP paddock.
"Back in 2012 we were like a ‘guest’ here. We had a bike, an ambition and just a space in the back of Aki’s transporter; we didn’t even have our own truck! I’m happy and proud that Aki is a special part of a bigger effort that means we had more than 70 bikes on track at the Sachsenring. He helped us arrive in MotoGP and we just want to get even stronger.”
Gardner has already signed with the Tech3 KTM MotoGP outfit for 2022, whilst rumours are circulating that Fernandez may join him at the French team next year. Meanwhile, Acosta is being tipped for a promotion into the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team next season.