It’s been about six years since KTM started its campaign for MotoGP. Back in 2016, Team Orange took to the grid with Mike Leitner at the helm. He’s been with the team’s MotoGP program since 2015 where he began work on the KTM RC16 race bike.
Now, however, Team Orange has confirmed that he will no longer be filling in the Race Manager post, and KTM has expressed its gratitude for his efforts over the past few years.
KTM are in their sixth season of MotoGP. Since their first debut in Valencia, 2016, the brand has pulled a stunning show of force on the grid. In the five years of KTM’s campaign at the highest level of motorcycle racing, Team Orange was able to produce five victories and up to 13 trophies. What’s more impressive is that it took KTM only half a decade in order to produce its first-ever MotoGP win where Brad Binder won the first GP for KTM in 2020.
Despite that, Mike Leitner will be stepping down as the Race Manager and will transition into a consultancy post. At 59-years-old, he will no longer be the principal of the Red Bull KTM Factory team, and will instead take a less involved approach.
Pit Beirer, KTM’s Motorsports Director, stated that “Mike has been a key figure in our mission to fight against the best in the world of road racing. 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.”