KTM’s sixth season on the MotoGP grid will begin without Mike Leitner as Red Bull KTM Race Manager.
Following a difficult MotoGP season, 2022 will find the KTM Factory Racing hierarchy restructured as the 59-year-old steps down from his principal role to transition into a consultancy post, Francesco Guidotti, currently heading Pramac Racing, is in line to inherit the position.
Having joined the KTM project from the outset as part of the RC16’s test squad in 2015, the Austrian moved seamlessly into the official Red Bull KTM MotoGP team for its debut on the grid at Valencia’s final round one year later and has been at the helm throughout its rise.
“Mike has been a key figure in our mission to fight against the best in the world of road racing,” Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director confirmed on Leitner’s departure.
“Together we created a MotoGP structure with the right staff and the right riders which achieved outstanding results at the pinnacle of the sport. We started building our RC16 and the whole plan from a blank piece of paper and under his guidance we put a great team together; one that took on the challenge of MotoGP.
“Now, after seven years together, we decided to reorganize our MotoGP leadership for the future, and I cannot express how much we want to thank him for all the work he put into this project. Mike pushed very hard to get us from the back of the grid to the front row and his dedication has played a major part in our success story.”
Since 2017 Leitner has instrumental in delivering the company’s first premier class podium as Pol Espargaro classified 3rd at the 2018 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, by 2020 he oversaw KTM’s maiden victory, Brad Binder at Brno. The South African claimed a further win in 2021, alongside three triumphs marked by Miguel Oliveira in Austria, Portugal and Catalunya over the last two seasons.