HOME COMING PARTY FOR CORTESE
Red Bull, partnered by KTM on Saturday staged a big welcome home party for Sandro Cortese, the first ever Moto3 GP World Champion. The tiny German town of Berkheim (population 2500) came alive as Sandro’s fans poured in to swell the population to around 10,000 and to give him a reception he will never forget.
Sandro Cortese won the title with two rounds in hand riding the KTM Moto3 machine in the Austrian manufacturer’s first year back in Moto GP competition. While KTM is no stranger to World championship titles across the offroad disciplines, it was the company’s first big racing success on asphalt and marked yet another milestone in its history.
Cortese celebrated a big moment at the party when he received an unexpected souvenir of his championship-winning season. KTM’s Head of Motorsport Pit Beirer and Red Bull KTM Ajo team boss Aki Ajo were on hand to present him with the Moto3 GP bike he rode to 15 podiums in 17 championship rounds. Sandro's success also contributed to KTM winning the Manufacturers World title.
This was a day for Sandro, his family, racing friends and fans to get together and celebrate and it was a memorable event for all those present. In keeping with the real ‘need for speed’ theme, the Red Bull Abt Sportsline Team from the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) were present, bringing with them an Audi DTM car driven by Mathias Ekstroem – with Sandro as co-driver – to parade him through his home town. Pilot Uwe Dolderer of the Red Bull Flying Bulls was on hand to deliver a spectacular air show and Sandro’s MotoGP rider and friend Stefan Bradl came on the stage to congratulate him. KTM also honored their World champion by bringing KTM staff from both Germany and Austria to present both the latest range of motorcycles and the company’s latest PowerWear collection. There was also a spectacular Freestyle (FMX) show to thrill the crowd.
Cortese next year moves up to Moto2 class, a category in which KTM does not participate so KTM’s PR Manager, Thomas Kuttruf was also present to put a brand new KTM 390 Duke in the hands of the inaugural Moto3 World Champion. The bike was only unveiled last week at the EICMA Motorcycle Fair in Milan, Italy and represents the latest addition to KTM’s family of small and medium displacement naked street bikes which now comprises the 125, 200, 390 and 690 Duke. When handing over the KTM 390 Duke, Kuttruf also delivered a message to Cortese that even though he now moves to another team, the company wants to encourage him to “keep riding KTM”.