The MotoGP World Championship will have a new manufacturer in 2023, albeit with a trick.
The Spanish GasGas will join the grid next season painting the bikes of the KTM satellite team, the Austrian group that in 2019 bought the brand born in Salt (Girona) in 1985. Due to the legal complications of introducing a factory Without prior agreement from the rest of the manufacturers, the Zaragoza-based company will begin its adventure as the main sponsor of the Tech 3 team.
The novelty comes at a decisive moment for the event after the surprise announcement of the departure of Suzuki, which had an agreement to remain in competition until at least 2026. Despite the presence of GasGas, the grid will be reduced by two bikes next course, since the gap left by the Japanese factory will not be filled immediately.
The will of Dorna, the company that exploits the rights to the world championship, is to introduce a first-rate manufacturer in the future.
The one that has sounded the most in this sense has been BMW, although its entry could last until the end of the current agreement within the World Motorcycling Manufacturers Association (MSMA).
🙌 GasGas arrives at #MotoGP to outfit the bikes of KTM's satellite team, the Tech3 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 pic.twitter.com/OXelcNYQNF
– DAZN Spain (@DAZN_ES) August 19, 2022
In this new adventure, the KTM subsidiary will have at least one familiar face for the brand.
Hervé Poncharal, sports director of Tech 3, confirmed Pol Espargaró (Granollers, 1991) as one of his drivers at the presentation of the new project.
The presence of the Catalan, who competed for four seasons with the Austrian factory and achieved six of his eight podiums there in the premier class, had been an open secret for several weeks.
The name of his companion remains unknown, but on the spot it was hinted that the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira, current member of the KTM factory team, is the best positioned to join the new project.
The futures of Raúl Fernández, runner-up in the Moto2 world last year, and the Australian Remy Gardner, from Madrid, are still up in the air.
“We have big plans for the brand, and our intention is to have a second factory team under the GasGas name.
It will be the main sports commitment of the group”, explained Hubert Trunkenpolz, CMO of Pierer Mobility, the group that owns KTM, Husqvarna and the Spanish brand.
"We came to the paddock as an off-road brand, but this project has become something very promising, Jorge Aspar's great work in Moto2 has also fueled this idea that we announce today, so I want to expressly thank him", commented Pit Beirer , director of KTM Motorsport.
This 2022 is proving to be a great year for GasGas, which was about to disappear a few years ago due to financial problems and was already bought by another investment group in 2015. In January, the British Sam Sunderland won the Dakar Rally, inscribing the name of the Spanish brand on the prestigious list of winners of the legendary endurance test.
As will happen with the red-painted bikes next season, the victory was a milestone more visual than real, as a replica of a KTM 450 Rally was hidden under the fairing, the factory bike used by the official riders of the Austrian brand.
Beyond the marketing twists and colours, the presence of a benchmark for two wheels of Spanish origin in the World Cup, which maintains part of its production chain in Salt and Terrassa, is very good news for the health of the event, especially after the escape of a giant like Suzuki.
At a delicate moment, with audiences and circuit attendance down, Dorna has proposed introducing sprint races on Saturday, in the style of Formula 1 but every weekend, starting next season, according to what has been advanced. the specialized portal Motorsport.com.
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