Kiefer Racing will continue in Moto2 under new ownership in 2018, running KTM machinery for the retained Dominique Aegerter and new arrival Sandro Cortese.

The team's future had been uncertain following the tragic death of team boss Stefan Kiefer on the eve of October's Malaysian Grand Prix.

However, discussions with Vienna-based investment banker and ex-racer David Pickworth were already underway.

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With financing and sponsorship from Russian investors, Speedweek.com reports that the necessary contracts for the change of ownership, plus machinery from KTM, are now complete.

"I received the last document from Jochen Kiefer [brother of Stefan] at 4pm last Thursday. I then had to have it checked by my lawyer. Then it was clear that I could take over the Kiefer Racing Team and the two Moto2 starting positions," Pickworth told Speedweek.com.

"Of course, everyone is very sceptical, as soon as you pronounce the word 'Russia'. But we are moving in a methodical, professional way. We cannot influence the way people think about us. All we can do is be very professional. And we will do that."

Kiefer Racing won the 2011 Moto2 World Championship with Stefan Bradl and 2015 Moto3 title with Danny Kent. 2017 saw the team cut back to Moto2, switch from Kalex to Suter and suffer the disappointment of a disqualified race win for Aegerter at Misano.

What does Pickworth expect from the new team in its first year?

"I am very confident about our goals. The KTM won the last three races at the end of the season. The bike has proven it is competitive. We have two good riders with a lot of potential. I guard against predictions, but I am very hopeful and expect to be near the front."

In terms of the funding, Pickworth added that the money to takeover the team comes from a Russian investor, while the money to go racing - which he states as 2.5 million euros, roughly matching the figure quoted by Forward Racing's Giovanni Cuzari - will be raised from sponsors in Russia and Switzerland.

"The names of these financiers will be announced at the team presentation in January."

Pickworth also wants the team to return to Moto3, in 2019.

"In an ideal world, we would like to work with KTM in the Moto3 class. But let's wait and see what they think about us after the first season. Now there is a contract, they are less skeptical.

"If they see how we work and how we do it and what the team's performance is, I am sure they will also talk to us about the Moto3 World Championship."

 Tarran Mackenzie, who rode alongside Aegerter for most of the season, is set to join BSB in 2018.

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Massive fan of Domi Aegerter, good to see his ride confirmed for next year.

Admit to being a little bemused by the signing of Cortese... how much money in sponsorship is he worth, because for me he hasn't proven yet he's desperately brilliant on a Moto2 bike?

good look, good bike, good riders... go for it! cheers