Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

LCR confirms KTM MotoGP approach but has 'no intention' to split with Honda

LCR MotoGP team owner Lucio Cecchinello has confirmed KTM approached him about partnering up in 2024, but “it is not my intention” to split with Honda.

Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda, Jack Miller, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

The MotoGP silly season has kicked into overdrive over the summer break amidst Honda’s woes, with much of the speculation centring on the Japanese marque’s riders.

Marc Marquez’s future with the brand has been thrown into the air following a bruising start to the 2023 season, in which he has scored just five points, despite his contract running to the end of 2024.

He has once again been linked to KTM, with a report in German publication Speedweek last week stating the Austrian marque could field Marquez and Pedro Acosta on RC16s run by the LCR squad.

In an interview with Autosport’s Italian language sister site GPone, Cecchinello has played this down, insisting he will see out his current contract with Honda through to the end of next year.

“I want to be totally honest and transparent: about 10 days ago I received a kind phone call from Francesco Guidotti (KTM team principal) in which he told me, calmly and independently, that from the Silverstone Grand Prix KTM would like to begin to understand how to move forward,” Cecchinello told GPone.

“They are interested in lining up another team in MotoGP, and not only based on Pedro Acosta, for next year.

“He asked me what my situation was for 2024 and I replied that I signed a three-year contract with Honda that expires at the end of 2024.

“The phone call ended like that and we didn't speak to each other again.

“I have a contract with Honda for 2024 and it is not my intention to break it. I have been in MotoGP with Honda for 18 years, next year will be the 19th.

Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda team principal

Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda team principal

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

“There are very solid human and professional relationships. It is clear that it would be difficult for me to leave them. I feel like a Honda man.”

KTM had already sought the possibility of buying out the grid slots vacated by Suzuki at the end of last year to field a second satellite squad, but was denied by Dorna Sports, who is reserving this for a factory entrant.

It is thought KTM approached Gresini Racing about a potential tie-up for 2024 at the Dutch GP ahead of the summer break, but Ducati is set to extend its contract with the Italian squad.

Acosta, currently second in the Moto2 standings, is confirmed to be coming to MotoGP in 2024, but KTM has a lack of space.

Its factory team seats belonging to Jack Miller and Brad Binder are secured until the end of 2024, while Tech3’s Pol Espargaro is also contracted for two seasons.

Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO, told Speedweek that Augusto Fernandez has been signed up again for 2024, creating further confusion around Acosta’s promotion.

In the same GPone interview with Cecchinello, he also confirmed Alex Rins has “received an offer” from Yamaha and talks between his management, Yamaha and Honda are underway.

Rins, who has been absent since the Italian GP due to a badly broken leg, is Honda’s only race winner in 2023 after scoring victory at the Americas GP.

However, the Spaniard has been unhappy with his treatment at Honda and his two-year deal is thought to have a clause in it that would allow him to break free if a factory team offered a contract.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Lecuona to replace injured Rins at British MotoGP round
Next article Why it's time to accept Silverstone as MotoGP’s true UK home

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe