KTM is fielding four bikes in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, and unveiled the new bike colors for both the Red Bull KTM Factory and Red Bull KTM Tech3 teams.

Pol Espargaró returns to the KTM squad for his third season aboard the RC16 joined by French rider Johann Zarco. Hafizh Syahrin will contest his second year in MotoGP with the new Tech3 team joined by premier class rookie Miguel Oliveira.

official livery of the Red Bull KTM Tech3
The official livery of the Red Bull KTM Tech3 (left) and Red Bull KTM teams for 2019.KTM

Oliveira is particularly interesting as he's the first rider to make it to MotoGP through KTM's "ladder," having ridden for the brand in both Moto3 and Moto2. Ultimately, KTM plans to raise riders from the ranks of the Red Bull Rookies Cup through to the top ranks.

“Our roadrace project has been building consistently since 2012 in terms of structure, confidence, and people,” KTM motorsport Director Pit Beirer said during the team launch. “I would say we have an amazing ‘path’ in place where you can go from a Rookies bike through all the categories to a MotoGP bike. In the premier class two motorcycles is not enough to be able to develop technology up until the highest level, so having a second team in the MotoGP gives us an amazing feeling that our system is in place.”

Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin starts his second season in MotoGP with the newly formed Red Bull KTM Tech3 team.KTM

KTM is looking to really up its game in 2019, with two skilled test riders in Mika Kallio and former Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. Testing at Sepang has shown that the RC16 still has some way to go, however.

“2019 will be about improvement: nobody is perfect and I learn something every year,” explained Espargaró in a team press release. “I think with Johann as a teammate hopefully I can learn from him and apply it to myself to be a better rider and a better worker. I just want to give the best of myself in 2019 and the most I can to the team.”

Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco rides for the Red Bull KTM team in 2019.KTM

“I discovered Mattighofen and the KTM factory for the first time in January and I was very impressed,” Zarco added. “After a few tests now I am very happy: I feel that the people in the team trust me and it’s nice to feel that confidence. We’ve done some good work so the motivation is high. Even when we make big improvements at a test we still see that we have a lot to do and have steps to make.”

Syahrin and Oliveira will provide valuable feedback on the machines to help ensure significant progress is made, even though both are fairly green when it comes to MotoGP competition.

Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira makes his debut in MotoGP in 2019.KTM

“It’s such a nice project, that KTM and Red Bull got together; to have two factory teams on the grid is something pretty unique and it shows clearly that KTM wants to try and dominate this class and roadracing in general. I’m just really proud and I feel privileged to be a part of this project,” Oliveira said.

The look of the Tech3 bike is eye-catching too, and both riders were thrilled with the new livery.

Pol Espargaró
Pol Espargaró is the veteran KTM rider this year, starting his third season with the brand in 2019.KTM

“I’m really excited about the new livery,” Syahrin said. “I think it’s truly different than everything else on the track. I can’t wait to be on track with this bike in Qatar. It looks amazing and I’d guess even more so under the floodlights in the desert. I’m very delighted about this look and can’t wait to get the season started!”

There’s one more test to go during the preseason, scheduled for February 23 at Losail. The season kicks off on March 10 at the same track in Qatar.