At the Austrian Grand Prix on August 19, 2022, GASGAS and Tech3 officially announced their new collaboration in MotoGP for 2023. Together, they will form GASGAS Factory Racing Team, and will field previous Tech3 and KTM rider Pol Espargaro as their first rider. A second rider will be announced in the coming months.
The GASGAS brand has a long history in Spain, and also in two-wheeled competition—although it’s usually been much different disciplines. The firm has made a name for itself in trials, enduro, motocross, supercross—and most recently, taking the 2022 Dakar Rally motorcycle category win with ace rally pilot Sam Sunderland at the helm.
From 2023, it’s venturing in a different direction than it has before—and as one of the three motorcycle brands currently under the Pierer Mobility Group umbrella. That does lead to an interesting question, though.
Gallery: GASGAS MotoGP 2023
While KTM, Husqvarna, and GASGAS share platforms on their production motorbikes, how closely tied will the KTM and GASGAS MotoGP teams be in terms of race bike development? Obviously, Ducati (as a manufacturer) still has the most bikes in the field—but only a single factory team. How separate will the KTM and GASGAS factory teams be? It will probably be some time before we have any reasonable answer to that question.
In the meantime, Pit Beirer, in his capacity as GASGAS Motorsports Director, offered the following statement:
“GASGAS is a winning brand. It has reached an incredible level of performance immediately in disciplines like MXGP, Supercross, Enduro and Rally where we have taken Grands Prix, Main Events, world titles and overall winners’ trophies. It’s a relatively new brand for us and we have new goals. We hope the fans that follow ‘the red’ will enjoy the story,” he said.
“Thanks to our strong partner, the ASPAR team, in Moto3 and Moto2 we have been able to see the GASGAS bikes right at the front of those categories. It would be great to see the same thing eventually in the hardest class of them all. I want to thank Hervé and the Tech3 factory racing team for keeping an open mind and really supporting this change to become the GASGAS Factory Racing Team. We think it’s exciting and different,” Beirer concluded.
Meanwhile, GASGAS Team Manager Herve Poncharal had quite a lot to say in a statement about the matter:
“Let me make a few confidences to you. Since we joined the Pierer Mobility Group, I can tell you that it has been my happiest professional years in my life. Because, when you work with Stefan, when you work with Hubert, and when you work with Pit, of course, the target and the main thing is competition, but I also love to spend evenings with these gentlemen to talk about business, to talk about strategy, to see how our motorcycle industry is evolving. I’m really, really happy to be part of a European manufacturer and the European manufacturers all together are moving on; we can see every single Sunday in the MotoGP™ podium that they are more and more,” he began.
“To be a full factory GASGAS team is a big source of pride. There is a lot I touch in the GASGASname, we know where they came from, I’m from the south or Europe, and I feel very honored, very proud, and I feel there will be more emulation inside the Pierer Mobility Group in the MotoGP class, in between the orange and the red brand," said Poncharal.
"For sure, as Hubert and Pit said, I would like to thank the Jorge Martin Aspar Team and his riders. First, to be here, they’ve been opening the road, they did a great job, they are still doing a great job, and we owe them a lot. We are together and I’m happy to be even closer to them because they deserve full respect. I just feel happy, I just love challenges – this is why I’m here – and racing is about challenges – industry, business challenges – and I’m very happy to be part of this new challenge,” he continued.
“If you remember well, a few years ago, there was a young man, a Moto2™ World Champion, that joined the MotoGP™ class with Tech3. His name is Pol Espargaro. We had a great few years together when we started, we discovered the MotoGP™ class together, and I have always said that Pol is a real fighter, Pol was a key player in the Pierer Mobility KTM MotoGP™ program, and I’m delighted to announce he is back in the family. We can’t wait to start working with him, and I think he will be a perfect ambassador for the GASGAS brand."
"So, this is like a fairytale; welcome back, Pol. This is also to Stefan, Hubert, and Pit to say more than me, but anyway, I’m over the moon and I think this GASGAS MotoGP™ project couldn’t start better than with Pol. So, this is fantastic news and I just can’t wait to be in November,” he concluded.
We can’t predict what’s going to happen in 2023, but one thing seems certain: Between GASGAS and Ducati, there are going to be a whole lot of red liveries on the grid.