Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has been making waves in Moto2™ all season, with the intermediate class rookie sitting second only to teammate Remy Gardner in the Championship chase. It comes as no shock to see the Spaniard make the immediate jump up to MotoGP™ for the 2022 season, but the circumstances and timing of the announcement has certainly taken many by surprise.
KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer admitted to motogp.com that he was angered by outside parties attempts to sign up the starlet, and that played a huge role in rushing through a deal.
“I'm very happy that we're going to see him on our MotoGP™ bike, but things were a little bit more hectic to be honest than planned.”
“I actually got a little bit mad finding out that other manufacturers were talking to Raul, ripping his shirt, and I was not so happy about it because he was quite happy to stay in Moto2™. This was his wish, we were not pushing him in one direction or the other. If he wanted to go to MotoGP™, of course, he would have had the chance on our side, so that's why I wanted to make everything quickly yesterday."
“It was really not the plan (to announce it in such a rapid nature), but I think we had everything prepared. It was a matter of two or three more short talks, but then I wanted to be really quick to take this pressure off Raul because I saw that still people were trying to talk to him and I think we also needed to make sure he can stay focused because at the moment, he still needs to perform in Moto2™ and it’s not good if he is distracted between all the fronts.”
In the end, and despite how it unfolded, Beirer was thankful to have secured the future of one of MotoGP™ and KTM’s brightest prospects and to keep him out of the hands of their rivals.
“I want to thank him and his family. We found a really good and quick solution so we could announce it unexpectedly, even for our own PR department!”