Suzuki’s departure would create a vacuum that might be filled by KTMby Harry Fisher, on
Suzuki’s shock departure from MotoGP will leave a void which needs to be filled. The permutations are many but could it make sense for KTM to field a third team, perhaps under the GasGas banner?
Could KTM Field a Third MotoGP Team?
When asked if KTM could possibly field a third team in MotoGP, filling up the vacancy left be a departing Suzuki, Motorsport Director Pit Beirer did not dismiss the idea out of hand:
"Yes, why not? Before we lose good riders, we prefer to make a third MotoGP team. We are now one year further with our MotoGP project, we are in a stable position. Everything is possible from there.”
KTM currently has two teams in MotoGP - the factory effort and the satellite Tech3 KTM team, which is seen as a development team for the brand. However, KTM has an embarrassment of riches in terms of contracted riders in Moto3 and Moto2. Adding a third team in MotoGP would provide more opportunity to promote those riders in the lower categories and prevent losing them to rival teams.
What is more, KTM now owns both Husqvarna and GasGas, both names that appear on Moto2 and Moto3 entries. It would be the logical step to take either of them to the next level and into MotoGP. Naturally, the bike would be KTM RC16s with a different paint job but as a marketing exercise, it would be perfect, especially for GasGas, which recently moved into the road bike field for the first time in its history with two KTM 690-based models, the SM700 and EX700.
Now, the Moto2 effort is being run by the Aspar team and there is no reason to believe that they couldn’t handle the elevation to MotoGP, seeing as they have played in the MotoGP paddock before. Another factor that might be deciding would be the opportunity to bid for the services of ex-Suzuki riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins. This might not be very likely, but it is a possibility.
KTM will have to bid against Aprilia for the Suzuki slots: currently, Aprilia is the only manufacturer without a satellite team. The other option is that a new manufacturer comes in but that seems unlikely at the present time.
So far, no official announcement from Suzuki has been forthcoming but there seems little doubt that it is going to happen. When it does, expect there to be a bit of a feeding frenzy to pick the scraps off the carcass.