After its successful 2020 season, KTM lost the advantages it enjoyed by regulation. The Austrian manufacturer was the only one, along with Aprilia , that could have a brand new engine in 2021, but development was frozen. In addition, the number of propellants that could be uncorked was reduced and the regular drivers could not participate in the private tests.
Like the rest of the teams, KTM had to designate three circuits on the calendar as test tracks for the test riders, and they only had three wild cards .
KTM had to change how it works in 2021 and many parts were tested during the grand prix weekends.
“If you’re not in good shape, of course you always try different things,” said Miguel Oliveira. “We haven’t tested too much, we don’t test outside race weekends anymore. Only the official test days remain. Before we could test the regular drivers.”
“This allowed us to get the job done and not delegate it to the engineers or the test drivers. Also, the level is very high. On a tight grid, you can quickly be ahead or behind.”
Mattighofen’s house manager, Pit Beirer , noted that too much testing was done on race weekends. In this sense, 2022 should be calmer for the team, so that the engineers and the riders can concentrate on getting the most out of the bike.
That is why Fabiano Sterlacchini has been hired to coordinate the engineering departments. Francesco Guidotti has also joined as the new team principal. Thus, the technical and sports parts have been divided between two people.
Mike Leitner y Pit Beirer, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Mike Leitner, until now technical director of KTM, had many tasks. The former driver believes that the loss of the concessions was something that contributed to the fluctuations in his performance in 2021.
“That played a part,” Leitner acknowledged to Motorsport.com. “It was also seen with other manufacturers. I remember that Suzuki also had problems after losing the concessions, which they solved between races.
After Suzuki returned to MotoGP in 2015, they lost the concessions in 2017, but finished without podium finishes and regained the profits only to lose them again at the end of 2018.
“You can also see the good performances of Aprilia. The idea of the concessions is that you take a newcomer or someone who is not yet ahead to the top. That is also good,” says Leitner.
“It changes a lot when you lose it. From the outside it’s not that noticeable. You have to approach it strategically in a different way. You have to think differently as a manufacturer and as a team. Without a doubt, this will be one of the points to take into account the year that It’s coming. But like I said, everyone is happy that we lost the concessions. It showed that we did a great job.”