MotoGP
28 Mar
Event finished
04 Apr
Event finished
R
Portugal GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Spanish GP
02 May
Race in
19 days
R
French GP
16 May
Race in
33 days
R
Italian GP
30 May
Race in
47 days
R
Catalan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
R
German GP
20 Jun
Race in
68 days
R
Dutch GP
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
R
Finnish GP
11 Jul
Race in
89 days
R
Austrian GP
15 Aug
Race in
124 days
R
British GP
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
R
Aragon GP
12 Sep
Race in
152 days
R
San Marino GP
19 Sep
Race in
159 days
R
Japanese GP
03 Oct
Race in
172 days
R
Thailand GP
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
Australian GP
24 Oct
Race in
193 days
R
Malaysian GP
31 Oct
Race in
200 days
R
Valencia GP
14 Nov
Race in
215 days

KTM hands 2020 factory ride to Binder, promotes Lecuona

KTM has named Brad Binder as Pol Espargaro's squadmate in its factory MotoGP team in 2020, with Iker Lecuona handed a premier-class promotion as a consequence.

KTM hands 2020 factory ride to Binder, promotes Lecuona

Moto2 ace Binder was already set to graduate to MotoGP next year, but was signed to replace Hafizh Syahrin at KTM's satellite outfit Tech 3.

However, following Johann Zarco's early exit from the programme, KTM scrambled to fill the works RC16, its predicament complicated by the fact Tech 3 was particularly keen to hang on to its impressive 2019 rookie Miguel Oliveira.

As a result, KTM has now opted to promote Oliveira's intended teammate Binder instead, while giving the vacated Tech 3 ride to another Moto2 graduate in Lecuona.

"It was clear that our plans for 2020 needed to change following our mid-season announcement [of Zarco's exit]," KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer said.

"After some thought and talks we decided to move in this direction and let the young, hungry guys with good experience in the other categories of MotoGP show us what they can do."

Aside from Oliveira - and with test rider Dani Pedrosa making it clear he did not want to return to competition - fellow tester Mika Kallio and Bradley Smith had emerged as the most obvious options to replace Zarco.

But while KTM called up Kallio for the remaining races of 2018 after benching Zarco in the lead-up to Aragon, the 36-year-old will not be getting the ride on a full-time basis.

Binder, who trialled the RC16 during the summer break, won a Moto3 title for the Austrian marque back in 2016. He remains in mathematical contention for this year's Moto2 crown - though trails championship leader Alex Marquez by 50 points.

"I’m super-happy with the duo we have for 2020. We had a long discussion about it but finally I think it is a good decision that KTM made," said KTM team manager Mike Leitner.

"In Pol we have a very strong rider who has made good results for us and we’ve seen in the other categories what Brad is capable of with our bikes. He is one of the young kids that has come through the ranks. It will be a big challenge for him but I think he will have a great future in MotoGP."

Lecuona, 19, had already signed a deal for 2020 to ride for the Ajo Motorsport-run KTM Moto2 factory squad, although KTM then announced it was ceasing its intermediate-class programme.

A Moto2 regular since mid-2016, Lecuona scored his maiden podium in last year's Valencia finale and is 11th in the current championship standings, as the second-highest placed KTM rider in the category behind Binder.

Iker Lecuona, American Racing KTM

Iker Lecuona, American Racing KTM

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Crutchlow expected more from Nakagami in 2019

Previous article

Crutchlow expected more from Nakagami in 2019

Next article

Oliveira made to feel "not worthy" by KTM's 2020 decision

Oliveira made to feel "not worthy" by KTM's 2020 decision
Load comments
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Prime

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement Prime

Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement

OPINION: Jorge Lorenzo's status as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time is hard to dispute. But his constant social media spats with fellow riders and insistence on listing his achievements to his detractors are running the risk of tarnishing a legacy he worked hard to create.

MotoGP
Mar 20, 2021
Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought? Prime

Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought?

It is over three-and-a-half years since the Italian national anthem rang out to declare a Valentino Rossi victory in MotoGP. To some onlookers his move out of the factory Yamaha squad meant the 2017 Dutch TT could remain his final win, but after an encouraging transition at Petronas SRT hope is far from lost

MotoGP
Mar 19, 2021