MotoGP
R
Spanish GP
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
42 days
14 May
-
17 May
Next event in
56 days
R
Italian GP
28 May
-
31 May
Next event in
70 days
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
77 days
18 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
91 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
98 days
R
Finnish GP
09 Jul
-
12 Jul
Next event in
112 days
06 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
140 days
R
Austrian GP
13 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
147 days
R
British GP
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
Next event in
161 days
R
San Marino GP
10 Sep
-
13 Sep
Next event in
175 days
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
190 days
R
Thailand GP
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
197 days
R
Japanese GP
15 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
210 days
R
Australian GP
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
218 days
R
Malaysian GP
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
224 days
13 Nov
-
15 Nov
Next event in
239 days
R
Argentinian GP
20 Nov
-
22 Nov
Next event in
246 days
R
Valencia GP
27 Nov
-
29 Nov
Next event in
253 days

KTM: Marquez's salary better spent on bike development

shares
comments
KTM: Marquez's salary better spent on bike development
By:
Co-author: Gerald Dirnbeck
Feb 21, 2019, 3:18 PM

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer believes the money it would take to sign five-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez is better spent developing its RC16 premier-class bike.

Honda rider Marquez has been long linked with a potential future KTM switch due to his close ties with the Austrian team's title sponsor Red Bull.

But the Spaniard, whose current Honda deal runs through 2020, has repeatedly played down his interest in exploring MotoGP options away from his current employer.

Speaking at his team's 2019 launch, Pierer – who previously criticised Ducati for over-spending on Jorge Lorenzo's salary – suggested a bid for Marquez's services would not be the right move for KTM at this stage.

“Marc Marquez is an exceptional rider,” Pierer said. “He would certainly be able to win with our material. Thank God the rider is still very important in motorcycle racing.

“It's always difficult in the early stages of a project. If he wins, it's because of the rider. If he doesn't win, it's the bike's fault. You can only lose.

“I'm not even talking about the rider's salary, even if Red Bull would pay it. I'd rather put the saved money into the bike. But that takes a deep breath and patience."

Read Also:

KTM, which has expanded to four RC16 entries after the addition of Tech 3 as a satellite team has Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco contracted as its works riders.

Espargaro scored its maiden MotoGP podium in a wet race in Valencia last year, while Zarco arrives as a statement signing, having opted to join KTM despite attracting interest from Honda.

Pierer revealed that KTM's MotoGP programme, which employs 180 people, is operating on a budget of 40 million Euros in 2019.

“We are in our third year and are still beginners, but we are on the right way,” Pierer said. “Racing also means patience.

“It took us seven years to win the Dakar Rally. Since then we've won 18 times in a row.

“MotoGP is a five-year programme and we are now in our third year. In the first year we started surprisingly well and in the second year we lost out due to injuries [to Espargaro and test rider Mika Kallio], but in the end we caught up again.

“For this year I expect to be in the top 10. If we get one podium, it would certainly be a great thing. Consistent single-digit finishes should be possible with our riders. In the fifth year we want to [reliably] fight for the podium.”

Zarco and Espargaro finished the pre-season test in Sepang 17th and 18th overall respectively, although Espargaro claimed afterwards that the RC16 had made huge gains in race trim.

“We're less than a second behind [the leaders],” Pierer estimated. “Between 0.5 and 0.7 seconds.

“We're in the lucky situation of being able to try a lot of things during the year [due to manufacturer concessions].”

Stefan Pierer, KTM

Stefan Pierer, KTM

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Next article
Quartararo adamant he's not too young for MotoGP

Previous article

Quartararo adamant he's not too young for MotoGP

Next article

Indonesia signs three-year deal for MotoGP street race

Indonesia signs three-year deal for MotoGP street race
Load comments