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The timing couldn’t really be better for the newest episode of MotoGP™ podcast Last On The Brakes, with hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld joined by KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer fresh off the back of the Austrian factory’s first premier class win - and as it turned out, right before their second! How did they get here? When did the journey start? And who is Pit Beirer past his job title and shots we see of him in the KTM box? You’re about to find out!
There’s plenty to get your teeth into, whether you’re interested in the journey from motocross athlete to KTM motorsport boss, winning by your own philosophy or how crazy decisions can turn into crazy successes. And we do mean crazy – in the best way.
Because KTM really went from 0 to 100 quicker than anyone on the outside could ever have imagined…
“It was basically just one and half years before,” Beirer laughs as he explains their decision to enter MotoGP™. “That’s somehow the craziness of KTM! We decided one evening. We’d won all the classes, we won the World Championship wherever we entered, so Mr Trunkenpolz, our sales board guy, he said ‘Hey Pit, there’s only one place left to go, we need to go to MotoGP!’ We were like ‘bwoah… that’s crazy man!’ And then we were looking for the guy brave enough to explain to Mr Pierer [KTM CEO] that we wanted to go to MotoGP. We did it. We talked also a couple of times to Dorna about the rules, would they accept us in this paddock and everything. Carmelo, he was so, so, motivating for us. He told us ‘you guys can do that! I’m pretty sure you can do it. C’mon, skip the other disciplines and go MotoGP!’ In those days the idea was first to go Moto2 and then MotoGP.
“So we went to MotoGP. But there was not a rough idea of how a bike could look, no idea about the budget and what you need for MotoGP. KTM decided that yes we’ll go to MotoGP, crazy like we are, and I think the announcement was already the next day. And then we started!”
And then they started. Since their debut in Valencia in 2016, the bike has moved further and further forward, culminating in that incredible victory in Brno. The first premier class win for the factory, and – as it would transpire – the first of two in the space of three weeks. So how sweet is that winning feeling?
“Believe me, with that win, that was not just a win that was… I mean there were so many things which were difficult that we didn’t know how to handle them, how to create them, and how to do it. All these things you guys mentioned, the steel chassis, WP suspension, all of this. But behind many question marks, we have to check ‘OK’, with that Brno win. So, it was a very special moment for us.”
Beirer also talks more in depth about how the factory have stuck to their philosophy – he is a man of steel in chassis and metaphorical terms – and about building the team from the ground up to make it all work as it does today: together. That's as well as a good chat about his career before an accident changed his path, his first job at KTM on the other side of the fence, and what's been the most inspiring ride he's witnessed...
Head on over to your preferred streaming platform to listen to the Pit Beirer episode, as well as any previous chats you may have missed. You can also watch the episode and many more on MotoGP™’s YouTube channel!
Enjoy! And make sure you share your thoughts on the episode on Twitter using #MotoGPpodcast.
52 minutes ago