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Stormy Week at KTM: Fabiano Sterlacchini Exits as VP of Technology Amid Contract Dispute



‘A tumultuous week’: Pit Beirer announces unexpected exit of Fabiano Sterlacchini from KTM

Former Ducati MotoGP technical coordinator decides against contract renewal with KTM.

Fabiano Sterlacchini is set to step down from his position as Vice President of Technology for Road Racing at KTM, following unsuccessful negotiations for a new contract.

Sterlacchini dedicated 17 years to Ducati, eventually becoming the MotoGP technical coordinator. After a short hiatus from the sport, he reappeared in June 2021, this time associated with the 'orange' team.

Sterlacchini held the official position overseeing KTM's entire road racing operations, working alongside Vice President Jens Hainbach.

The individuals who ranked higher than them in the KTM racing structure were the company's CEO Stefan Pierer, Chief Marketing Officer Hubert Trunkenpolz, and the Director of Motorsports, Pit Beirer.

Beirer, seen here, described the past week as tumultuous when questioned by Simon Crafar about the rumors surrounding Sterlacchini’s departure during the first practice session at the Sachsenring.

"Fabiano's contract was nearing its conclusion. Over the past week, we engaged in several conversations. We made efforts to extend his contract, aiming to secure a new three-year agreement with him."

"However, ultimately there were certain points on which we couldn't reach a consensus."

The distance from his home was a factor for him, but I don't want to make that our primary excuse. We simply couldn't come to an agreement on certain aspects moving forward. Consequently, we mutually decided to part ways.

Beirer emphasized that Sterlacchini was departing amicably and would continue to be regarded as 'a friend'.

According to Beirer, he developed aspects of our project that we hadn't initially addressed, and he enhanced them significantly. While we chose a different path, I believe his contributions have provided a much more solid foundation for our project. Over the past few years, we have discovered more talented individuals, and this has been a collaborative effort.

"I’m pleased with his performance. We prefer not to discuss the reasons we’re not continuing together, but there was no breach of contract. His contract had simply expired, and we couldn't reach a new agreement for his future. Additionally, the long distance to his home was a factor."

"In summary, he's parting ways with KTM on good terms."

Despite KTM securing the second spot behind Ducati in the previous year's MotoGP constructors' standings and Brad Binder achieving a personal best of fourth place in the riders' rankings, the RC16 has not claimed a grand prix victory since former racer Miguel Oliveira's win at Buriram in 2022.

It is still uncertain whether Sterlacchini will move to a competing MotoGP team. In addition to Ducati and Aprilia, Yamaha also operates out of Italy.

In recent years, KTM has recruited several prominent figures from Ducati, with Sterlacchini being the most senior among them. Other notable recruits include Red Bull KTM Team Manager Francesco Guidotti, Track Performance Manager Alberto Giribuola, as well as Jack Miller and his crew chief Cristhian Pupulin.

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