KTM's ‘Red Bull F1’ aero ready for Sepang MotoGP test?

KTM may have unveiled a new fairing and wings at the Valencia MotoGP test but more aerodynamic developments are in the pipeline courtesy of a new partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

With F1’s decreasing budget cap ($145m for 2021, $140m for 2022 and $135m for 2023-2025) impacting staff numbers, it appears some Red Bull Racing engineers have been moved into new projects at Red Bull Advanced Technologies – benefitting the likes of Red Bull KTM in MotoGP and Oracle in SailGP.

“It’s a [business] partnership and maybe we are in the right place at the right moment,” KTM MotoGP team manager Francesco Guidotti told Crash.net.

“We have to improve a little bit the aerodynamic side of the bike, it’s one of the aspects that the motorcycle environment didn’t explore until a few years ago.

“So for sure we have margin to improve there and the new agreement with Red Bull Technologies can help us.

“We hope that for Sepang, we will have something to test.”

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The Red Bull staff (Guidotti wouldn't be drawn on how many) will work closely with KTM’s existing MotoGP design team as they seek to apply F1 aerodynamic knowledge to a very different racing machine.

In making the transition from F1 to MotoGP, the Red Bull aerodynamicists will need to master the effects of extreme lean angles in the corners and ride-height devices that lower the rear of the bike on the straight.

“It’s not only wheelies, the aerodynamics have an effect everywhere now,” Guidotti said. “Especially with the ride-height device and the efficiency of the aerodynamics as the height of the bike [changes].”

The MotoGP aerodynamic rules require bodywork to be homologated at the start of each season, with only one update allowed (per rider) during the world championship.

The Sepang Shakedown and Official test will take place next February.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Brad Binder finished sixth in the world championship for KTM this season, with team-mate Miguel Oliveira taking two wet weather wins on his way to tenth overall.

Oliveira is being replaced by Jack Miller for 2023, who finished fifth in the standings for Ducati, while the Tech3 team will run the returning Pol Espargaro and rookie Augusto Fernandez in GASGAS colours.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished first and third for Red Bull Racing in his year's F1 World Championship.

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