Shocking news came from KTM. The Austrian manufacturer is reportedly determined to eject the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager , Mike Leitner , in the 2022 MotoGP . This is reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by The Race on Wednesday (11/24/2021).
Although there has been no official statement from KTM, Leitner’s dismissal is thought to be due to their poor form this season, despite having won four podiums, including two wins each for Miguel Oliveira in Catalunya and Brad Binder in Austria.
KTM did experience a performance anomaly throughout 2021. At the beginning of the season, their riders were difficult to enter in the top 15, before KTM presented a new chassis at Mugello. That chassis helped Oliveira finish second at Mugello and Sachsenring, as well as win in Catalunya.
Mike Leitner Joined KTM Since 2015
However, disaster came precisely when they arrived at home, the Red Bull Ring, to undergo the Styria and Austria Series. Oliveira had a terrible accident and a head injury, and his mentality did not come back strong until the end of the season. Binder won in the Austrian Series, but was helped by the reckless factor of not having a pitstop when it rained.
Leitner, who was also Dani Pedrosa’s former crew chief during his time at Repsol Honda, joined KTM in early 2015, serving as Vice President of KTM On-road, before the orange-identical manufacturer finally stepped down in full MotoGP in 2017, where Leitner was also appointed as manager of its manufacturing team.
Under Leitner’s leadership, KTM has so far managed to achieve 13 podiums, 5 wins and 3 poles. Unfortunately, a significant drop in performance from 2020 to 2021 made KTM question the Austrian’s leadership for 2022.
Francesco Guidotti Nicely Handles Pramac Racing
Based on rumors circulating, KTM tried to get Pramac Racing Team Manager, Francesco Guidotti, who was good at leading the Ducati satellite team and diligently mentoring young riders such as Danilo Petrucci, Scott Redding, Jack Miller, Pecco Bagnaia, Johann Zarco, and Jorge Martin, who all of them were able to achieve at least one podium.
Martin even managed to win Pramac’s first victory in MotoGP, after mastering the Styria Series as a debutant. If he does join KTM, then Guidotti will work with the latest KTM Technical Director, Fabiano Sterlacchini, who was previously the right hand man of the General Manager of Ducati Corse, Gigi Dall’Igna.
According to GPOne, Guidotti informed Pramac’s CEO, Paolo Campinoti, on Wednesday morning. This news is quite surprising because previously Guidotti had rejected a similar offer from Suzuki Ecstar, who had been struggling since Davide Brivio left to Formula 1 as Racing Director of the Alpine F1 Team.