“It costs €70 million to get on the MotoGP podium!”

KTM’s top bosses believe that it takes an investment of €70 million (£60m / $75m) to have success in MotoGP.

The team entered the premier class six years ago and, this season, their riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliviera finished sixth and 10th in the MotoGP standings respectively.

Oliviera, who twice won races this year, will be replaced by KTM in the 2023 MotoGP rider line-up by Jack Miller - a high-profile addition from Ducati.

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Fighting the likes of Ducati or Yamaha does not come cheaply, KTM have warned.

Hubert Trunkenpolz, a KTM director, told Speedweek: "When we decided to enter MotoGP in 2017 we realised that the successes we were able to achieve in Moto3 and Moto2 were really of no interest to anyone and did not create the spin-off we expected, especially in Asian markets.”

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer added: “Obviously you need a huge budget for a project like this. We are talking about €70 million gross just for MotoGP. 

“If you want to try to be on the podium, the figures are these. Moto2 is actually the cheapest class, also because of the production engines and Moto3 is nowhere near the premier class."


Trunkenpolz continued: "But only on MotoGP can you measure a real return. Brand awareness pays off enormously and as a result KTM is perceived much stronger. 

“Our plan to recover MotoGP costs through additional sales really worked. 

“However, it makes sense to introduce young talents to MotoGP through the two small classes and for this reason we continue to invest in Moto3 and Moto2 as well, but you only get media attention as a manufacturer in MotoGP."

Pierer said: "We have never preached the Olympic principle claiming that the important thing is to participate. If we take part in a championship we want to get on the podium.

"We have always said that we will be patient in MotoGP because it took seven or eight years to win the Dakar and also the American Supercross.

“We have shown that we take MotoGP seriously and plan for the long term in the premier class also winning with the Tech3 team as a customer team from 2019 and extending the contract with Dorna until the end of 2026.”

KTM are aided by their sponsors, Red Bull. But MotoGP has already witnessed Suzuki, a powerful motorcycle brand in its own right, exit the series due to the spiralling costs involved.

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