Hubert Trunkenpolz, Member of the Executive Board:
Hubert, let’s talk GASGAS. MotoGP has quite a wide fan demographic; we see the younger to the older race fans. Does that mean it’s an excellent fit for GASGAS and the brand values?
HT: Going with GASGAS MotoGP is a fascinating project that makes sense in several aspects. The first one is the same as we did with KTM; if you want to create awareness for a motorcycle brand, MotoGP is the right platform so you reach the most people globally to make GASGAS better known make the brand GASGAS more popular. MotoGP is the right platform for us next to AMA Supercross and RALLY DAKAR.
Another reason is that if we look at the brand values and the brand as such, then it’s young and vibrant, and it’s clear that MotoGP, with the younger demographics, is also the right platform. We have a long tradition of engagement in Spain; it was one of our first and most successful subsidiaries.
We like to be in Spain, and we have created an entirely new manufacturing building [there] for GASGAS, so a new home in Spain and Having two Spanish riders with our old friend Pol and a rookie – Augusto- is a perfect fit.
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Hubert, the GASGAS brand has such a strong heritage in Trial and Off-road, so does the involvement now in MotoGP mean some positive signs for more expansion?
HT: Definitely. The GASGAS range will be enlarged and expanded to street motorcycles, and MotoGP is preparing the ground for it in terms of awareness for the brand and the products that will come year by year.
Was the decision to go into MotoGP also based on the success and how things flowed so easily with the Aspar Racing Team?
HT: Of course. This was motivating and convincing us. The Aspar team does a fantastic job for GASGAS; success speaks for itself. We are very grateful to Jorge and his team for having such a strong brand presence and having the title fixed in Moto3. So this is amazing, and it is a solid basis because the brand is now thriving in Moto3 and Moto2, so to be present in MotoGP was a logical step.
You hinted at it a moment ago, but do Pol’s character and his experience mixed with some of the emerging talents of Augusto mean that GASGAS has a Spanish’ dream team’?
HT: This is what we have in mind, yeah! Having Pol back is good, so I am happy about that. Pol is part of the family. He made his experience’ outside’, which was essential and helpful for him and us to be even better. To have him as the team captain in GASGAS is excellent, and Augusto is a great young guy. We do not have high expectations because we want to give him the time to fit in, but he’s a smart guy and an excellent rider. With Pol as the team captain, he has the time to develop. It’s going to be good. It will be a powerful Spanish line-up.
It’s a new brand in MotoGP, a new story, but how important is it to have a stable partner like Tech3 and their involvement?
HT: Yes, I think I would say that Hervé Poncharal is a guarantee for stability. We have an excellent personal relationship with each other, he’s a man you can trust, and the team is fantastic, with a lot of success over the years. We had victories with Tech3; Miguel [Oliveira] was the first to win a MotoGP race for Tech3. I think the combination of the Spanish flavour, French heritage, experience, and Hervé leading the team are positive ingredients.
The KTM Group has succeeded in MotoGP since it came in quickly. With the inclusion of the ‘red’, will that carry on?
HT: They will leverage each other! We are committed to having the same material for both teams, and one will benefit the other. The guys will work together; we will make sure this will happen and not work against each other and have three top riders, Brad, Jack and Pol and a very talented rookie with Augusto. We have a good setup.