KTM quitting 125cc Grand Prix

Austrian company focusing on youth racing

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 06, 2009
KTM is discontinuing its Grand Prix racing activities while expanding its youth racing programs.

The Austrian manufacturer announced it will not compete in the 2010 125cc Grand Prix World Championship, instead shifting its resources towards international and national-level youth racing activities.

KTM will continue to supply the motorcycles for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, ensuring that 125cc KTM sportbikes will compete at select Grand Prix events.

The manufacturer will continue to support youth racers in the 125cc class of Germany’s IDM national championship series.

KTM will also redirect its resources to support its flagship RC8R sportbike which will race in national Superbike and Superstock series such as the IDM.

Pramac Ducati rider Mika Kallio raced for KTM before moving up to the premier MotoGP class in 2009.

KTM riders have recorded 22 wins, 46 podium results and 19 pole positions in the 125cc and 250cc World Championships. KTM also captured the 2005 125cc Grand Prix manufacturer’s title thanks to the performance of current MotoGP racers Mika Kallio and Gabor Talmacsi.

“The current situation in motorcycle racing and in the entire industry has resulted in us adapting our motor sport strategy on asphalt,” KTM Motorsport Department said in a release. “KTM has made a conscious decision concerning the topic of youth development. We will continue to maintain this by providing maximum support and training for young talent, also in difficult times. At the same time we must be responsible for fielding salable KTM street bikes in competition. Strengthening the racing activity around our street Superbike, the RC8 R is a logical step.”