In this series of previews ahead of the 2021 MotoGP season, we will take a look at each of the teams and how they could perform. Next up is KTM.
Make sure to check out our other team previews too!
KTM entered 2021 looking like one of the strongest competitors to challenge for the title, yet in testing they seem to have hit a wall. After finishing third in the Teams’ Standings in 2020, with six podiums (including one victory) to their name, the Austrian outfit looked to be moving in the right direction.
Testing tells us otherwise, with Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder finishing 16th and 17th in the combined test times, signaling the RC16 may have some gremlins which need to be dealt with.
Pre-season tests do not tell the whole story for the rest of the season however, and I believe the team will come to the start of the season in two weeks’ time looking much stronger.
The Austrian team have a line-up that spells out potential, Oliveira joins the factory squad after an incredible 2020 campaign with Tech3, earning two victories across the season. The Portuguese ended 2020 on a high, winning his home Grand Prix, and enters 2021 looking like he could be a potential candidate to fight for the championship, provided he has the tools underneath him.
Alongside Oliveira is Binder, who comes into 2021 for his second season in the premier class and with the KTM team. The South African stunned the MotoGP world last year, taking a commanding win at Brno in what was only his third MotoGP race.
The 25-year-old will no doubt be aiming to grow in the top class with more podiums and victories this year, and I think it’s likely we will see just that.
KTM have a good base to go off, especially after 2020, there is no doubt the team are growing into a force in MotoGP since making their championship debut in 2016. Testing has shown that they still have some work to do, but I believe these issues will be ironed out come the Grand Prix of Qatar.
KTM rides into 2021 as Grand Prix winners, now is the time to become serial winners. The Austrian outfit poured millions into their factory program and they needed to see some return on the investment.
Last year was a step in the right direction; the team finished third in the Teams’ Standings. With more data to analyse from their partner team Tech3, KTM is in a healthy position to move up the grid.
With veteran test rider Dani Pedrosa on board, KTM is in a good position heading into 2021. That position gets better because of their two riders. Brad Binder is a race-winning rider. The South African is a gritty, aggressive rider who knows the team and the bike.
Joining Binder is two-time winner Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese shone for Tech3 last year as he took wins in Austria and Portugal. These two dynamic riders own experience of the KTM bikes, and they teamed together in the junior classes. Last year proved KTM are on the up. It’s time to build on that.