until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Would KTM risk a 'Senna + Senna' 2025 MotoGP line-up?

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

With so much attention in the 2025 MotoGP rider market focused on what Ducati is going to do with its conundrum over the identity of Pecco Bagnaia’s works team-mate, other factories’ plans have been something of an afterthought so far.

Now some statements from KTM have shaken that situation up a bit.

Given KTM’s long-time lead factory rider Brad Binder is still only halfway through a four-year deal that expires for 2027 and rookie sensation Pedro Acosta is already expected to replace Jack Miller alongside him next year, it’s been presumed the Red Bull-backed KTM squad wouldn’t feature too much in this year’s contract wars.

That could yet be up in the air thanks to rumours circulating the paddock that KTM has an eye on the two key players in the Ducati situation, with both Marc Marquez and Jorge Martin in its crosshairs.

That might, at this point, just be something exploratory, given Binder’s long deal. But with his recent dip in form and a likely KTM clause that says it can move him to satellite squad Tech3 if it so desires, a window could open up for some rider movements.

And with KTM team boss Pit Beirer recently stating that both Miller and Tech3 GasGas satellite racer Augusto Fernandez are on thin ice thanks to recent results, it means that there’s plenty of space to move riders around the four KTM group bikes should it poach some big names.

Marquez seems, to be honest, to be the less likely of those candidates.

Already making a huge jump for 2024 after a career spent on Hondas, his Ducati stint is only just starting properly after months spent learning the Desmosedici. 

And, with the 31-year-old already feeling like he’s lost years of his career to the accident that has dominated his life since July 2020, going to KTM would mean more time lost in bike adaptation that he can’t afford.

Combined with his seeming acceptance of another year in satellite Ducati colours as long as he gets the latest-spec machine, there’s little reason why he’d move.

It’s a bit of a shame given that, should the RC16 turn out to be title capable, the idea of pairing Marquez and Acosta could’ve given KTM the MotoGP equivalent of Formula 1’s legendary (but fiery) Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna partnership at McLaren - as the top talent of one era goes up against the young upstart who looks like their true successor.

But actually that storyline could be outshone by the other possibility KTM’s potential shopping for a shock new signing would create.

Current points leader Martin is a different question altogether. Should he fail to get the factory Ducati nod again (the third time he’ll have missed out on it in three years), it’s probably enough to force him out of Ducati completely, leaving the door open to what has until now been speculated about as a likely transition to Aprilia.

But KTM seemingly making a bid for him creates the opportunity for it to bring back a prodigal son - a rider who came up to MotoGP via the KTM junior ranks and who openly credits the Red Bull Rookies Cup (which he won in 2014) with saving his career at a point where his family was about to run out of money.

And with both Acosta and Martin young, fast, headstrong and incredibly talented, it would be less Senna versus Prost and more Senna versus Senna - potentially creating an incredible rivalry that would be spectacularly entertaining to watch as the pair go to war together.

Would KTM be willing to risk all the repercussions? Would it move Binder aside to make it happen? Would Martin definitely want to join a manufacturer yet to prove it can win titles?

Given KTM’s determination and Martin’s massive thirst for a factory seat, it’s all far from impossible.

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