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'A stormy week' - KTM splits with its MotoGP tech chief

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

KTM has parted ways with its MotoGP technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini after failing to agree terms on a contract extension.

Sterlacchini arrived as a marquee KTM signing in 2021, seen as a major coup for the as he had been regarded as Ducati tech guru Gigi Dall'Igna's right-hand man in the period in which the Ducati Desmosedicis were transformed from flawed and limited machines to MotoGP's dominant force.

His arrival as technical director came as part of a restructuring of sorts, which also soon featured team boss Mike Leitner being replaced as KTM team manager by Pramac chief Francesco Guidotti. More KTM-to-Ducati hires followed the next year.

But Sterlacchini's contract had been up for renewal - and the news that he and KTM would be going their separate ways was reported by Italian outlet GPOne during the German Grand Prix weekend, before being confirmed to the series' official broadcast by KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer.

Beirer, pictured below, told MotoGP.com it had been "a stormy week" for KTM.

Pit Beirer

"Fabiano was at the end of his contract already at the end of last month, so for the last weeks we had some discussions and of course we tried to renew a three-year contract with him.

"But at the end of the day we just couldn't agree on some things."

Beirer said Sterlacchini was homesick but that this wasn't the "main excuse" for why a renewal couldn't be agreed.

He lauded Sterlacchini for helping the project end up on "a very stable base right now".

"We have many great people. We found them together with him the past three years, and I am happy with what he did.

"We both agree that we don't want to go deep into the discussion about why we don't want to go on together, but there is no broken contract. He was at the end of his contract time and we couldn't find a proper agreement for the future. All in all, he is leaving KTM as a friend."

But he also said: "I am not a happy man that we could not finish what we started together. We had a plan, we had a mission, and somehow we had to give up on that."

KTM currently sits third in MotoGP's constructors' standings, two points behind Aprilia but well adrift of the table-topping Ducati.

It has not won a premier-class grand prix since 2022, though Brad Binder did score two sprint wins last year - and rookie Pedro Acosta's MotoGP emergence means its title hopes in the medium term look stronger than ever.

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