Moto Media
James Stewart

KTM ignites Moto3 engine to signal return to MotoGP

This pure bred KTM engine draws all on the power and experience of the company’s proven research and development expertise and the extensive experience of the KTM Racing Department.

KTM’s return to the new MotoGP Moto3 class and the development of the new engine by KTM engineer Wolfgang Felber and his team is also characterized by an intense partnership with KALEX Engineering of Southern Germany, the company that will be the exclusive chassis manufacturer for the KTM engine.

The constructor of the newly unveiled M32 racing motor is Kurt Trieb, a very experienced engineer, who among other important tasks was responsible for the construction of the KTM MotoGP V4 motor.

KTM’s exclusive partnership with KALEX Engineering represents a joint combination of skills and passion to develop two different, but parallel concepts for the 250 cc single cylinder four-stroke bike: the KTM racing machine, 100% developed at the company’s headquarters in Mattighofen, Upper Austria, and the KALEX-KTM bike concept. The fully in Mattighofen developed KTM machine with an innovative KTM frame concept will be in the hands of Ajo Motorsport headed by experienced Finn Aki Ajo while the KALEX-KTM machine is being offered to various customer teams.

The ‘made in Austria’ road racing bikes are no strangers to the MotoGP paddock. KTM competed in the 125 cc and 250 cc classes until these categories were phased out in favour of Moto2 - and subsequently from 2012 - the Moto3 classes. In fact KTM has continued a presence in the paddock through its ongoing commitment to the highly successful Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup Competition. KTM supplies the 125 RR bikes for the youngest competitors in international level road racing as they launch their careers. This activity also represents KTM’s passion for the development of products for the younger rider, best illustrated by the launch of the KTM 125 Duke entry level street bike in the early summer of 2011. The 125 Duke immediately became Europe’s top selling 125 bike in the first quarter of its release.

KTM already has proven capacity in the smaller classes of MotoGP. The company not only has a Manufacturer’s World title to its credit in the small bike category; it is also proud to have played an important role in nurturing young riders of the caliber of Casey Stoner, Mika Kallio, Hiroshi Aoama and Marc Marquez who all competed for the KTM factory team. By returning to competition in Moto3, KTM also signals its passion to continue to support talented young riders, a core value of the company’s philosophy.

KTM and Martin Bauer move forward in Superbike development

Martin Bauer’s 2011 title victory on the KTM 1190 RC8 R in the prestigious International German Superbike Championship (IDM) was an important step in KTM’s planned progress as it moves closer to participation in other major international superbike series.

Bauer has now signed to stay with KTM in the capacity as a test rider and he and the team led by Konrad Hefele will dedicate themselves in 2012 to moving the development of the ‘Made in Austria’ two-cylinder Superbike into the next logical stage.

Wolfgang Felber, Head of KTM Road Racing said by retaining the skills of an experienced and winning rider like Martin Bauer as a test rider, KTM had already made a valuable step forward in the further development of the RC8 R. "With Martin as test rider and Konrad and his team behind him we will surely reap the same rich benefit for developing the Superbike as we do from our factory riders’ input into the development of our offroad bikes. KTM is proud of its ‘Ready to Race’ philosophy and it goes without saying that the experience we gain on the track is directly reflected in the development of our series model machines.”

Bauer, Hefele and his team will fully concentrate on the next stage of development of the KTM 1190 RC8 R. The move is considered timely, logical and necessary to move the Austrian brand one step closer to its goal of being a future force in top ranking Superbike competition.

While no commitment has been made concerning future competition, all options are also open. The first step is to dedicate 2012 to further developing the RC8 R and identifying to potential to compete in other top ranking race series. It is also possible that Bauer will compete in some series as a wild card entry during the 2012 season and to this end his team boss Konrad Hefele will be compiling a calendar of test events and possible wild card entries