With Pol Espargaro at the Austrian GP

The new MotoGP concession regulations allow KTM, as a manufacturer in rank C, to use up to six wildcards in the current 2024 season. The Mattighofen-based company has already drawn two of them: Dani Pedrosa in Jerez and Pol Espargaro in Mugello. On Thursday, the third wildcard participation in a MotoGP race weekend in 2024 was announced.

In a press release on Thursday morning, KTM announced that Pol Espargaro will take part in the Austrian manufacturer’s home race at the Red Bull Ring near Spielberg. This means that there will be five KTM RC16s on the MotoGP grid at the Austrian Grand Prix, which will take place from August 16 to 18.

Fabio Wibmer at the Red Bull Ring on Mission MotoGP (16:43 min.)

Second MotoGP wildcard for Pol Espargaro after Mugello

Espargaro retired as an active MotoGP racer in 2023 and moved to KTM’s test team. After already taking part in winter tests in Sepang, his racing comeback followed in Mugello at the beginning of June. There, the 33-year-old did well, narrowly missing out on the points in the main race in 17th place. And yet he was not at all satisfied with his own performance and wished for more preparation time for his second wildcard appearance.

He now seems to be getting it, because in the press release Espargaro is quoted as saying: “I’m ready to start again! Mugello was a special track for my return with KTM, but it doesn’t get much more special than the Red Bull Ring. Because of the track, the location, the fans, the atmosphere and because this Grand Prix means so much to KTM, it feels a bit like a home race for me too.”

In 2020, Pol Espargaro fought for the MotoGP victory with KTM in Spielberg, Photo: LAT Images
In 2020, Pol Espargaro fought for the MotoGP victory with KTM in Spielberg, Photo: LAT Images

Last year, the Catalan achieved his best result of the entire season with sixth place in the sprint in Spielberg, and in 2020 he even made it onto the MotoGP podium with KTM in third place. “I have some good memories,” Espargaro himself knows, “but as in Italy, the goal will be to get on the track with the KTM RC16 and continue our test program. We will have a lot to do, but I know that the Austrian GP will also be a lot of fun.”

This means that the Austrian GP could be the Espargaro brothers’ last race weekend together, as Aleix Espargaro is also ending his career as a regular driver at the end of the year. He is moving to the Honda test team for the new season. However, further wildcard appearances are planned, all information about this can be found in the following article:

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