KTM revving up legendary Scandi-brand to take on Moto3, road bike shurely on the cards…
KTM had a bit of a mare at its home MotoGP round at the weekend, with Pol Espargaro failing to finish for the third year in a row, gah, and Johann Zarco being dropped for 2020 after a poor showing.
But the firm had some interesting news post-race, with a couple of announcements. First, it confirmed its commitment to MotoGP for another five year extension, up to 2026, which is good news for the class. It’s focussing away from Moto2 though, and will drop its involvement in that class for 2020. That sort of makes sense with Triumph – more of a direct competitor – soaking up most of the PR from that class.
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More exciting is the announcement of a new Husqvarna-branded race team in Moto3 from next year. The Husqvarna brand did compete in that class back in 2014-15 when KTM first took it over from BMW, and we’re hoping they’re going to be even more serious this time.
It’s mostly seen as an off-road brand at the moment, but Husqvarna has previous in road racing of course. Between WW1 and WW2, the firm competed in the 350cc and 500cc GP classes with a weird V-twin engine, and winning its home race several times in the 1930s.
The current road bike range is based around the Svarpilen and Vitpilen cafe-racer and dirt-tracker versions of the the KTM Duke 390 and 690 models. But could the Moto3 team be part of a plan for a Husqvarna mini-sports bike on the RC390 foundations? Seems like a solid notion to us…