KTM will not receive any more spots on the MotoGP starting grid next year so the Pierer Mobility AG Group, owner of the KTM, GASGAS and Husqvarna brands and owner of a 25.1% stake in MV Agusta via KTM AG has decided to…not decide who to keep next year between Pol Espargarò and Augusto Fernandez.
“We still have a lot of Grands Prix ahead of us this year - Stefan Pierer told Speedweek - You can see how many injuries happen all the time. The next topic: As always, there will be an elimination race. We will find a solution. In today's MotoGP format, there are more and more injuries. But few teams have test or reserve riders who can score points. We've seen how difficult Jonas Folger found it to replace Pol from Texas to Assen. We were happy that he stepped in, but it wasn't really a replacement," admitted Pierer.
"With a total of 42 or even 44 races, we will always need replacement riders in the coming season," said Hubert Trunkenpolz, Head of Motorsport at KTM. “With so many races, the risk of failure increases. And if we can offer a test rider six wildcards and there is also the option of being used as a substitute rider, those are lucrative incentives.”
For this reason, Pierer has agreed with Dorna that the status of test riders will be improved by increasing the number of wildcards to six per year.
“Savadori and whatever their name is, they don't race at the level of regular riders. We also need a fast second test rider alongside Dani Pedrosa. Because when it comes to further development, only a rider who is fast and good will help us.”
After all, KTM does not want to make the mistake of having to eliminate promising riders again, as it has already done with Iker Lecuona and Remy Gardner.
“Augusto Fernández is in his first year in MotoGP and is showing promise. We've made the mistake of writing off a rookie too soon. We don't want to make that mistake a second time. Augusto is Moto2 World Champion. He deserves a fair MotoGP chance. We definitely don't want to lose him. Because who knows how many MotoGP bikes we will have on the grid in 2025.”