MotoGP: KTM extend partnership with Tech3 until 2026
Tech3 will continue as KTM’s satellite team in MotoGP for the next five seasons after Austrian manufacturer renewed their association with the French squad.
The extended deal will see four factory KTM RC16s on the grid until at least the end of the 2026 season; two within the Red Bull KTM Factory team and two within the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing outfit.
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Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal ended his team's 20-year partnership with Yamaha at the end of 2018 in favour of becoming a KTM satellite team. Although many were shocked at the decision at the time, it has, so far, turned out to be a positive decision.
After picking up several top 10 results with Miguel Oliveira in 2019, Tech3 went to the next level last season. Oliveira secured the team's first-ever premier class victories at the Red Bull Ring and Portimao on his way to ninth overall in the championship.
In doing so, Tech3 won two of KTM's three victories in 2020. Brad Binder also won at the Red Bull Ring for the factory team.
"I feel very proud, very privileged and very honoured to announce our renewed partnership with KTM," Poncharal said. "I think we will be the first independent team to announce a five-year agreement with a manufacturer in MotoGP history. This is quite an achievement, and it also highlights how strong our relationship is and how well the first three years of our partnership have been working.
"I believe the best is yet to come. We share the same values, the same target, which is to never give up and be ready to race. So now that this deal is done, signed, confirmed, let’s work even harder on the 2021 season and of course let’s think how to be best prepared for 2022. I really believe this organization has all the ingredients to be winning and it’s just up to us to put all the pieces together to make it work and chase victory at every single round.”
The 2021 season has not yet brought the same success as last year for Tech3. Oliveira has been promoted into the factory team and as a result Tech3 signed MotoGP veteran Danilo Petrucci. The Italian has only scored three points in the opening three rounds has he continues to adapt to the RC16 after spending six seasons on the Ducati.
Likewise, teammate Iker Lecouna continues to struggle towards the back of the grid. The youngster has one point to his name in 2021.
Nevertheless, Tech3 will continue to play an important part in KTM's Grand Prix programme, which stretches throughout the three GP classes and into the junior categories.
“We are very proud to make this announcement of a new five-year deal with Tech3," KTM Motorsports Director, Pit Beirer added. "It is a very important strategic move for us as part of our long-term strategy in the sport. We already agreed our participation with Dorna for another five years and it was vital to have that foundation and stability in MotoGP by renewing our agreement with Tech3.
"For the last few years, we have been building-up our structure and now it provides an incredible path from Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, Moto3, Moto2 and then four valuable places in the premier class where we want to succeed. With Hervé and the Tech3 crew we have the ideal partner, and we see the whole operation as part of ‘one team’. It’s more than a pleasure to say we’ll be able to attack the next five years together.”