For the first time in its 20-year MotoGP history, Tech3 starts a new season as a proven race winner, courtesy of Miguel Oliveira's victories at Red Bull Ring and Austria in 2020.

And while Oliveira has now moved on to the factory KTM team, he has been replaced by another proven MotoGP winner in the form of Danilo Petrucci.

"It’s my tenth year in MotoGP and to ‘celebrate’ this I will ride for KTM and I’m very proud about this," Petucci said. "Tech3 KTM Factory Racing is one of the most competitive teams we have in MotoGP. Last year they won two races, so I am really happy to race with them. We have all the factory support we need and in a really nice environment.

"I’m really, really curious to try the bike and get to know the people from the Tech3 team. I want to give some of my experience back to this factory. I know many race situations that can happen during a year and all the other three riders are all very fast and very competitive.

"I am the ‘most experienced’ but I want to be faster than them or I want to fight with them and share our opinion to let the bike grow. In the end to be satisfied with the season and to make all the KTM people and factory happy: this is the target. To be fast is the thing that matters the most.”

The French team also has new colours for this season, with KTM itself filling the void left by the departure of former title sponsor Red Bull, resulting in a bright orange livery.

With Red Bull gone, the new team name for 2021 is 'Tech3 KTM Factory Racing'. The word Factory is significant, with the Austrian manufacturer emphasising that Tech3 is just as important to them as the Official team.

Tech3 will again receive the latest RC16 bikes in MotoGP this year, equal in specification to the official team of Oliveira and Brad Binder and with KTM engineers working closely with the Tech3 crew.

Depending on how big a step Lecuona makes during his second season in the premier-class, much of Tech3's 2021 hopes could rest on the shoulders of Petrucci.

The Italian has been a MotoGP winner in the dry and wet, but struggled for much of last season as the characteristics of the new Michelin rear tyre caused some confusion at Ducati.

Tech3 and KTM will no doubt be hoping that the RC16 will be a much better match for Petrucci's aggressive style and that the family atmosphere of Herve Poncharal's team can help bring out the very best in Italian.

“After an incredible 2020 season which saw Tech3 KTM winning two races, we can’t wait to start 2021," Poncharal said. "It’s going to be a very special season for all of us at Tech3 KTM Factory Racing because we now know that with the KTM RC16 we have the weapon to fight for pole positions and to fight for podiums and victories.

"We will welcome a new rider with a lot of experience: Danilo is a super charming guy, he is so impatient, so focused and motivated to start the season with testing in Qatar. Iker remains with us. We have a lot of trust and expectations in him. He is not a rookie anymore and this is the time for him to deliver.

"For me as a team owner, I have to say that the first two years with KTM were like a dream. The improvements from 2019 to 2020 were unbelievable and honestly, even though I was trusting KTM to make a big step, the step they made was something I was not expecting. As I said before, to win two races already in year two is an incredible achievement.

"We are a happy team, everybody is very impatient to start the 2021 season but before we go to Qatar, there is a great moment for KTM and Tech3 to happen, which is this presentation. We will be wearing the full KTM factory colors, which is a great recognition for our partnership but also a lot of weight on our shoulders to keep pushing even more.

"We know we represent the brand and we know how important a MotoGP bike with the full factory colors is for everyone. Thanks to all those who follow and supports us."

 

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