The man primarily responsible for steering the KTM MotoGP project moves on

KTM MotoGP race management personnel changes

KTM Factory Racing have confirmed that Race Manager Mike Leitner has left the team and KTM have expressed their gratitude for his application and knowledge towards their MotoGP program as the Austrian ‘steps down’ from his position as Red Bull KTM Race Manager.

2022 will represent KTM’s sixth season as part of the MotoGP grid and the KTM Factory Racing hierarchy will restructure. The 59-year-old will no longer fill his management role as principal of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing set-up and will transition into a consultancy post.

Leitner originally came into the KTM Race Department and helped construct the testing squad that began work on the KTM RC16 in 2015 and then the official Red Bull KTM MotoGP team that first took to the grid at the end of 2016 in Valencia.

KTM RC16 MotoGP Test at Valencia
KTM RC16 MotoGP Test at Valencia in 2016

Since 2017 he has been an important part of the KTM MotoGP race management and organisation that has produced five victories and 13 trophies in less than half a decade of Grand Prix competition. He was instrumental in delivering the company’s first podium as rider Pol Espargaro classified 3rd at the 2018 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

MotoGP Valencia EspP GP AN
Pol Espargaro – Valencia MotoGP 2018 – AJRN Image

By 2020 he oversaw KTM’s maiden victory, scored by Brad Binder in the Czech Republic as well as further spoils by the South African in 2021 and the three triumphs marked by Miguel Oliveira in Austria, Portugal and Catalunya in the last two seasons.

Brad Binder won the first MotoGP race for himself, South Africa, and Ixon
Brad Binder won the first MotoGP race for KTM, for himself, for South Africa, and for Ixon at Brno in 2020

Further milestones include Espargaro’s 5th place finish in the 2020 rider’s standings while Binder ranked 6th by the end of the recent 2021 campaign.

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director

“Mike has been a key figure in our mission to fight against the best in the world of road racing. Together we created a MotoGP structure with the right staff and the right riders which achieved outstanding results at the pinnacle of the sport. We started building our RC16 and the whole plan from a blank piece of paper and under his guidance we put a great team together; one that took on the challenge of MotoGP. Now, after seven years together, we decided to reorganize our MotoGP leadership for the future, and I cannot express how much we want to thank him for all the work he put into this project. Mike pushed very hard to get us from the back of the grid to the front row and his dedication has played a major part in our success story.”

2021 KTM MotoGP – Beirer – Trieb – Binder – Oliveira-Felber-Leitner

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