Has KTM offered Iker Lecuona its 2020 MotoGP factory seat?

Moto2 podium winner Iker Lecuona emerges as the new favourite for the available KTM Factory RC16 seat for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season

Iker Lecuona - KTM

Moto2 rider Iker Lecuona has emerged as a probable candidate to step up to the 2020 MotoGP grid as a replacement for Johann Zarco at the Red Bull KTM Factory team.

According to Visordown’s sister publication Crash.net – which quotes Speedweek.de – Lecuona has entered the frame for the available seat having only recently partnered with the Red Bull Ajo team to compete in the 2020 Moto2 series.

However, while Red Bull Ajo looks set for a switch to Kalex machinery after KTM opted to stop supplying chassis to Moto2, Lecuona is seemingly set for an immediate promotion right to MotoGP.

KTM has been on the hunt for a new rider ever since Zarco brought his brief tenure with the Austrian manufacturer to an end this summer, reportedly approaching Jack Miller prior to his Pramac Ducati renewal before turning to its development rider Dani Pedrosa, who duly rejected the offer.

It was also revealed over the Japan MotoGP weekend that Remy Gardner, son of 1987 500c World Chamnpion Wayne Gardner, had also been approached but he turned it down in favour of an extended stay in Moto2.

As it stands, Mika Kallio has taken on the KTM vacated by Zarco in an effort to convince the manufacturer to retain him in a race ride alongside Pol Espargaro but looks set to miss out after a difficult first three races with the team.

Who is Iker Lecuona?

Though not one of the better-known names even amongst the MotoGP faithful, Lecuona is considered something of a rising star – albeit one on an ascent along with numerous other Spanish hotshots.

A regular top ten finisher this season on the unfancied KTM chassis, form that had already earned him a good promotion to the well-backed Red Bull Ajo team for 2020, Lecuona also celebrated his first Moto2 podium in Thailand and is currently 11th in the overall standings. 

While Lecuona is only likely to come on board for a single-year so KTM can get itself into position for the next round of contract cycles, this could be a great opportunity for a relatively little-known rider to shine on the premier stage – much like Fabio Quartararo…