KTM will “need” the help of new satellite team Tech 3 if its to continue its progress up MotoGP’s competitive order, believes Pol Espargaro.
Following the news that it is to end its long-time partnership with Yamaha, Tech 3 will switch to run two factory KTMs in 2019.
Espargaro, who raced for Tech 3 for three seasons before joining KTM last year, hailed the Austrian marque’s decision to expand, saying the move will benefit both parties.
“We need still to develop a good bike and I think we will need them [Tech 3], KTM will need them,” he said. “I think it is great news for KTM and for Tech 3 as well.
“For sure it is a good idea for KTM to have satellite team, as well to have Tech 3 because it is a good team with good guys and they are going to do a good job.
“Tech 3 doesn’t know what KTM is able to do, but I know what Yamaha and what KTM are able to do and to switch to KTM, I think for them it is a super-good idea.
“KTM will give them the opportunity to get involved in that project from really the bottom and develop together the bike [with the factory team].”
Espargaro’s teammate Bradley Smith added that “it makes perfect sense” for KTM to sign up Tech 3, which he regards as being one of MotoGP’s two premier satellite operations.
“It makes perfect sense,” said Smith, who like Espargaro also raced at Tech 3 before switching to KTM.
“At the end of the day, if you’re KTM and you want the best satellite team available, then your two options are Tech 3 and Pramac.
“They’re the two standout teams that have had some fantastic results. Pramac is clearly a Ducati team, so Tech 3 was available.
“Herve [Poncharal, team boss] and all his staff run a fantastic programme, and they’re very professional, they’ve had some fantastic results each and every year with different riders.
“This shows that they have a very good working system there, and it will be a very good addition to the KTM team.”
Additional reporting by Gerald Dimbreck