It is true Orange Power. The KTM RC16 that Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona will take to the track in 2021 is an authentic tribute to that distinctive orange that has always characterized the Austrian motorcycles. In fact, the Red Bull logo disappears on the fairings of the Tech3 bikes, leaving room for graphics that seem to give an even more Factory tone to the Poncharal team’s machines.
In 2020 the team won two Grands Prix with Miguel Oliveira, who was promoted to the factory team. Now it's Petrucci's turn to take the RC16 to success in 2021.
“It’s my tenth year in MotoGP and to ‘celebrate’ this I will ride for KTM and I’m very proud about this – were Petrucci’s words - Tech3 KTM Factory Racing is one of the most competitive teams we have in MotoGP. Last year they won two races, so I am really happy to race with them. We have all the factory support we need and in a really nice environment. I’m really, really curious to try the bike and get to know the people from the Tech3 team.”
In his tenth season in MotoGP, Danilo has very clear ideas about what his contribution could be.
“I want to give some of my experience back to this factory. I know many race situations that can happen during a year and all the other three riders are all very fast and very competitive. I am the ‘most experienced’ but I want to be faster than them or I want to fight with them and share our opinion to let the bike grow. In the end to be satisfied with the season and to make all the KTM people and factory happy: this is the target. To be fast is the thing that matters the most.”
Beside him in the box, Danilo will have Iker Lecuona. The Spaniard has grown a lot during his debut season in MotoGP, often undermining the official KTM riders.
“This winter I have been working very hard on my preparation because MotoGP is a very physically demanding class and you need to be in perfect condition. In 2021 I want to start at the same level that I reached towards the end of the season and then we will see how it goes. Everybody is strong, the level in the category is very high, but my team is working very good, the bike in 2020 has made a big step and I feel confident to show my best on the track”.
As always, the team will be managed by Hervé Poncharal, fresh from a triumphal season in MotoGP and eager to repeat some truly prestigious results.
“After an incredible 2020 season which saw Tech3 KTM winning two races, we can’t wait to start 2021. It’s going to be a very special season for all of us at Tech3 KTM Factory Racing because we now know that with the KTM RC16 we have the weapon to fight for pole positions and to fight for podiums and victories. We will welcome a new rider with a lot of experience: Danilo is a super charming guy, he is so impatient, so focused and motivated to start the season with testing in Qatar. Iker remains with us. We have a lot of trust and expectations in him. He is not a rookie anymore and this is the time for him to deliver.”
Poncharal admits he has really moved on since his team fielded the RC16s.
“For me as a team owner, I have to say that the first two years with KTM were like a dream. The improvements from 2019 to 2020 were unbelievable and honestly, even though I was trusting KTM to make a big step, the step they made was something I was not expecting. As I said before, to win two races already in year two is an incredible achievement. We are a happy team, everybody is very impatient to start the 2021 season but before we go to Qatar, there is a great moment for KTM and Tech3 to happen, which is this presentation. We will be wearing the full KTM factory colors, which is a great recognition for our partnership but also a lot of weight on our shoulders to keep pushing even more. We know we represent the brand and we know how important a MotoGP bike with the full factory colors is for everyone. Thanks to all those who follow and supports us."