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The Red Bull KTM Ajo team will make important new developments to its Moto3™ competition teams in 2018. The team will continue their presence in the Moto3™ World Championship – which they won in both 2012 and 2016 – and will be lining up with new rider Darryn Binder. In addition, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team will run a development team in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship. Turkish twins Can and Deniz Öncü – the latter recently crowned Asia Talent Cup Champion - will be the riders for this project, which will be supported by Dorna’s "Road to MotoGP™" program. Red Bull, KTM and Ajo Motorsport thus continue their successful collaboration that began in 2012 and increase their presence to include a new competition.
South African Darryn Binder has already been one of the standout KTM riders in the class this season, although his year has been affected by an injury suffered during the summer break that has caused him to miss four rounds. Darryn is the younger brother of Brad Binder, current Moto2™ rider for Red Bull KTM Ajo and 2016 Moto3™ World Champion, and he debuted at Grand Prix level in 2015 after participating in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. He has contested a total of 48 Grands Prix, with two fourth places his best results to date.
In the CEV, Can and Deniz Öncü of Turkey will have the opportunity to take a step up for the 2018 season. Both have taken numerous victories this year in both the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and in the Asia Talent Cup, which was won by Deniz with brother Can taking third. The two riders will also continue to compete in the 2018 edition of the Rookies Cup.
Aki Ajo, Team Manager: "First of all, I have to say that it is an honour to be able to continue with partners such as Red Bull and KTM, and to extend our great collaboration. In the FIM Moto3 World Championship, where we have achieved the title together and great results since 2012, we welcome Darryn [Binder] to our team. For us, he has been part of the family for a long time, as the brother of Brad and someone who has spent a lot of time in our garage. He is a rider who has already demonstrated his quality in the World Championship and we are sure that next year he can take another step forward and be in the fight for the top positions regularly.
With this new development project in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship we will build with experience of Red Bull and KTM, and the Ajo Academy, in supporting young talents. Expanding the Moto2 and Moto3 structure to the Junior World Championship is a challenge. Aged just 14 years old, Can and Deniz [Öncü] have already demonstrated their innate talent in competitions like the Red Bull Rookies Cup. We all have a lot of confidence in them and hope that with us they will learn and continue their training as riders, which is the main objective. With hard work, results will surely follow. I want to thank Red Bull, KTM and all the partners once again, as well as all the parties involved, for enabling us to participate in this exciting project."
Darryn Binder: "I’m very excited to be part of the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team, a team that have been World Champion on several occasions. I have a feeling that together we can achieve great results. Being on a team like this, the objective has to be to fight for the World Championship. After seeing what my brother Brad has done and is still doing, I am sure that it is possible with this team. This is exactly the reason why I have chosen this opportunity for next year, because I have seen this team have been able to achieve it many times. I think both the team and I have the same goals, so we just need to start working together. I want to finish by thanking all those who have made this new step in my sporting career possible."
Deniz Öncü: "I think it’s a great opportunity that we have been offered on this team for next season. I am very happy and looking forward to the action getting underway. With this latest move I think we are taking a new step forward in our sporting career and we are sure that we can learn many different things from this great team. I'm sure it will be a great year. This season we have been able to ride a KTM in the Red Bull Rookies Cup; the bike for next year will not be the same, but this will help us adapt faster to Moto3. In the FIM CEV Junior World Championship we should not put limits on ourselves, we must work to the maximum always and I am sure we can do well together with the whole team. It will also be very positive for us to be able to ride one more year in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and try to fight to be at the top."
Can Öncü: "I am very happy to be part of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in the FIM CEV Junior World Championship for next year. This is the team of my dreams, and now my dream has come true. We have already had the opportunity to talk with people on the team and I think it will be an important year for learning how the bike works, understanding the telemetry and trying to squeeze the most out of our performance as possible. We have come from the Red Bull Rookies Cup, where next year we will also compete for a second year, and where I have learned to fight in races and ridden at Grand Prix tracks for the first time. I hope that everything I have learned this year will be useful for next season in the FIM CEV Junior World Championship. It’s a very interesting championship, I can’t wait to ride in it and I hope to do my best."