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KTM considering WSBK entry in ‘two or three years’
20 July 2013
KTM says it is looking closely at the forthcoming changes to the World Superbike Championship regulations as it evaluates whether to join the series in the coming years.
The Austrian manufacturer has a rich heritage in motorsport, particularly in motocross and the entry-level grand prix classes, but its Superbike experience has been limited to a brief – albeit successful – stint in the German-based IDM Superbike Championship.
Title winners in 2011 with a full-factory backed RC8, KTM has previously signalled its intentions to join the World Superbike Championship, but has shied away due to costs and a lack of cohesion with other domestic series.
However, with World Superbikes set to adopt new regulations aimed at cutting down costs over the next few years, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer says the manufacturer would definitely jump at the opportunity to compete in the production-based series over graduating to MotoGP.
“If you look at the coming decade then I think MotoGP is not so interesting for us because so much money is needed and I cannot see any gain from a big outlay” he said. “Only Marquez is the fresh thing in this segment. Without him I think it would be the most boring class. For me there is no challenge there.
“In Superbike it is a bit different. If the rules come down to visible and affordable levels and the bikes are close to a standard product and without the minimum quantities rule then we would think about it. That's clear. Some changes are on the way [for WSB] and it is in a good direction.
“At the moment [Superbikes] is linked to quantities of sales and the rules were not stable in terms of costs for racing. What would be important for Superbike is having the same technical rules, whether it is world, AMA or Germany…similar to motocross. It becomes interesting then.
“We have some ideas but I don't think [a KTM WSB team will happen] for the next two or three years. We are looking closely at the regulations and the organisation.”
Having won the IDM Superbike Championship in 2011, KTM withdrew to focus on its return to grand prix racing in 2012 with an immediately successful foray into Moto3. Though Pierer rules out MotoGP as a viable direction for the manufacturer, he says moving into the Moto2 intermediate class is a possibility.
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