KTM: ‘Special’ Maverick Vinales can be ‘almost unbeatable’

Pit Beirer: "We all know Maverick can do miracles... We have to make sure we can get this feeling out of him many, many times."

Maverick Vinales, Pit Beirer
Maverick Vinales, Pit Beirer

KTM pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the MotoGP season by signing 10-time premier-class race winner Maverick Vinales from the factory Aprilia team, to form an all-new Tech3 line-up alongside Enea Bastianini for 2025.

Here, Pit Beirer, KTM’s motorsport director, explains the background to the ‘very quick’ deal, confirms that their mission will be to unlock the ‘special, unbeatable’ Vinales as often as possible, says KTM were ‘never really in a contract conversation with Marc Marquez or Jorge Martin’ and more…

Background to the deal

“First of all, we never lost contact with Maverick since he won a [Moto3] world title on a KTM many years back [2013]. The friendship and relationship always stayed. So there was a close contact and then there was a moment when we met and talked [about 2025] and he gave us the feeling he wanted to be with us.

“Also it was not like talking to one or another rider, that was waiting to see if that Ducati spot will open. His commitment [to join KTM] was very strong from the beginning.

“I also feel he has a great team and a great bike at this moment, so for us it was a kind of positive surprise that he was really open and really serious about it. And not just trying to get an offer from us to ‘gamble’ with somebody else.”

Agreement reached very quickly

“Things went quick! We sat down. We talked about the terms. And we agreed. So it was not even back and forth or up and down. It was a great experience and it gave me a really, really great feeling.

“We had [Maverick] in mind, but if this was a realistic chance, I could not really tell you. But it was also clear if things happen like they happened in Mugello [Marquez/Martin deals], you also need to be quick to put your [rider] package together.

“Because it was clear after the Ducati discussion that things will move quickly. I think we did good homework and we were ready to move in the right moment.

“The press release [announcing Vinales to KTM] was [on Thursday] morning at 9am… The [deal was done the] evening before at 8 o’clock.”

Vinales, Marquez, Martin
Vinales, Marquez, Martin

No 'contract conversations' with Marc Marquez or Jorge Martin...

“I know Marc and Jorge, we speak sometimes, but we were never really in a contract conversation because they were just committed to their ideas and program. 

"So we quite early followed another path, to get really our [rider] package as strong as possible.

“And if you have riders on the level of Maverick, who won in America, and then what Enea did in Mugello. You see the quality of these guys.

“I feel on a really, really good day we [KTM] can win. It's been missing for a while. On a good day, we are the second force behind Ducati. I say ‘on a good day’, because on another day Aprilia is stronger than us. They do also a great job.

“We are not fully there. We need to make another step, on the bike, in the team, to get really competitive to beat the leading guys. So that's why I think Enea and Maverick can bring something to the project.

“I feel Brad [Binder], for example, he's so long with us that it's very difficult for him and for us to change direction out of what we are doing together for such a long time.

“Then you have also Pedro, who is a rookie, and looks like he likes our package. He can go fast immediately…

“If Enea continues with us like he finished at Mugello we’re already quite happy! My target is to supply him a team and machine he’s happy with. If he is happy and confident, he will perform.”

Maverick Vinales, COTA Grand Prix winner
Maverick Vinales, COTA Grand Prix winner

“If Maverick wakes up and knows he’s going to win, he’s almost unbeatable”

“I’ve personally got a very strong connection with Maverick. For him that human side, feeling at home and being given a good surrounding is super important. And then we all know he can do miracles. 

"But we also know if he doesn’t feel comfortable, he's not going back just one or two positions. Then it goes really wrong.

“I feel we have good ideas and people in the team that know how to work together with him. The warm feeling he also gave me when we discussed (is something) we want to give back to him, I feel we can do that.

“Also Maverick is at a certain age where we know the quality. If he wakes up in the morning and knows he’s going to win that GP on that day, I think he’s almost unbeatable.

“We have to make sure we can get this feeling out of him many, many times…

“I see some things where I think we can help him. But man, he’s a GP winner. I just want him with us and to get this special Maverick out many, many times.

“He was sitting with us. He really has a plan and a mission and we really want to support him.”

"The pressure is on us to deliver"

“I feel [KTM] need some input from winning riders to give us also another touch. I feel everything is there.

“We need to use now the time until these [new] boys are coming onboard to get the package as ready as possible. I feel the pressure is on us to deliver the right package so they can perform.

“They are proven performers and GP winners, so we need to supply the right package so they continue to do that.”

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