There are money, sponsors and a super organization but the riders are fleeing KTM or are in pain. What happens inside the Austrian racing department?
I made you and I destroy you!
My mother could have easily worked in the KTM MotoGP team, since the attitude of the Austrians towards what they gave birth to, seems to be that of my mother when I combined a few and, in truth, even when I didn’t.
Making a brief history of cases of dissatisfaction there are a number of them.
Zarco started, and in unsuspecting times he wanted to give up an official saddle and a few million euros.
A salary he has NEVER seen since he now earns very little at Pramac. And it was also out of his bike without a Red Bull sponsor that publicly humiliated him. You will remember that Zarco, after announcing that the following year he did not want to race with KTM, was fired in mid-season and deprived of his engagement and sponsors, and said things like: I hope they let me eat. What must have made him want to leave like this?
Pol Espargaro was no exception. Before going to Honda he complained quite a bit. Not to mention Fernandez, who led him to sign in MotoGP that he looked like a dog when they take him to the vet. He was even willing to spend another year in Moto2. An unprecedented thing: he was kicked in the ass to MotoGP and he still complains. Not to mention Petrucci, direspected since the start, then held and fired too soon but sent to the Dakar as a sop, without conviction with a teams of which the rider from Terni publicly complained because he was not ready and made him risk his life. And then Lecuona.
Ok Lecuona was sacked but he said terrible things. Yet KTM is a cool place. Because it has a crazy “nursery” with initiatives and a phenomenal growth program that many, many, want to escape from. Like Acosta, who has already made him goodbye and told him that he, farewell, wants to leave as soon as possible. The record of anticipated self dismissal. Just like someone who is not well at home with his parents. A place where the managers are very strict, and highly paid, often much more than the riders, it seems a place where you have to do what they tell you, beyond company normality. That is, you have to do what they tell you even if you are perhaps right. What then is the sensitivity, if you do the races. That is to understand if the one you called to risk your life at 300kmh, can give you some advice, perhaps even apparently incomprehensible to you who will also be the owner of the hut but you are sitting in the garage. A very German attitude but without being completely German. Including the very tense relations with Ducati, which in recent years has spent a fifth, and cold to Aprilia, which has spent a tenth and which appears ever closer, too close to remain nice.
It is incredible the parable of KTM which has had incredible moments of growth, which can count on solid money, sponsors and riders, yet it seems to live in the least happy of all possible worlds, a world in which, alone, it creates and destroys itself. KTM started like a bomb but the Blitzkrieg, the flashy approach to quickly conquer the top, failed to work and, on the contrary, wore it out, making it a place to escape. Pedrosa is saved, in the mechanism, being him no longer a rider but a tester and therefore has passed to the other side.
The arrival of Francesco Guidotti, who will be the Paolo Ciabatti of the Austrians, is perhaps due precisely to this need to soften the structure and bring that know-how that makes the mechanism work to others, who perhaps have less money, but that on certain others things are probably a little more resilient and receptive.
Will he succeed? Perhaps Guidotti has an operational strategy in mind that we do not see. After all, they called him. Otherwise they would have called me, but I’m still here, so…