KTM have finalised their 2020 MotoGP line-up with Brad Binder joining the factory team and Iker Lecuona joining Tech 3.
Binder, currently riding for KTM in Moto2, had already signed with Tech 3 for 2020. However, the departure of Johann Zarco opened up a spot in the factory team. The South African will now line-up alongside Pol Espargaro next season.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed plenty of success with KTM across multiple classes. He won the Moto3 title in 2016 and has five victories in Moto2.
Team manager, Mike Leitner, believes Binder will be a star in MotoGP. He said:
“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. 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 rank. It will be a big challenge for him but I think he will have a great future in MotoGP.”
Lecuona joins Tech 3 KTM
As a result of Binder’s move, Lecuona will step up to the premier class to partner Miguel Oliveira at Tech 3.
The 19-year-old has taken two podiums in Moto2 in the last two seasons, riding a satellite KTM machine. Lecuona had been signed for the factory Moto2 team next year, however KTM withdrew from the class.
Tech 3 team principal, Herve Poncharal, is pleased with the new line-up. He commented:
My feeling is that this is the strongest 2020 KTM line-up we could have hoped for. We want to have four riders with talent, passion, will and that they will stick to the project. Personally I am happy to work with a young and talented rookie like Iker. This is the way to go for the future and we have seen that the same approach has brought some success to other teams.
“Let’s start working on 2020: we have the technical support and we have the right people onboard. I believe we will take a big step next year with both Miguel in his second year and Iker keen to show us what he can do.”
Binder and Lecuona will be the only rookies in the MotoGP class next season. Barring any complications involving Jorge Lorenzo, the grid is now complete.