Ajo’s one-rider squad is a downsizing on its current Moto3 effort, which currently houses Nico Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder, but will retain its backing from title sponsor Red Bull. Upon signing, Binder is confident of challenging for the crown his older brother Brad won for the same team in 2016.
As well as competing with Darryn in Moto3, and Brad and Miguel Oliveira in KTM’s official Moto2 team, Ajo has signed the talented Öncü twins – Deniz and Can – for a year in the ’18 FIM Junior World Championship.
And aside from the announcement, Ajo’s team will no longer be KTM’s ‘factory’ entry in the junior category, with the factory bosses keen to adapt its current approach in a class it has won on three occasions.
A factory spokesman explained that KTM wants to mirror HRC’s current strategy, whereby it spreads its support across several teams, a facet that may improve on what has been a largely disappointing year in Moto3.
It is believed KTM management was disappointed at losing names like Joan Mir, Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio – all of whom were beneficiaries of the KTM-backed Red Bull Rookies Cup – to Honda, and felt having a ‘factory’ team made it more difficult to keep hold of – or attract – certain talent.
Speaking of the move to Ajo’s squad, Darryn Binder, who sits 19th in the current world championship, said, “”I’m very excited to be part of the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team, a team that have been World Champion on several occasions. I have a feeling that together we can achieve great results.
“Being on a team like this, the objective has to be to fight for the World Championship. After seeing what my brother Brad has done and is still doing, I am sure that it is possible with this team. This is exactly the reason why I have chosen this opportunity for next year, because I have seen this team have been able to achieve it many times.
“I think both the team and I have the same goals, so we just need to start working together. I want to finish by thanking all those who have made this new step in my sporting career possible.”
“In the FIM Moto3 World Championship, where we have achieved the title together and great results since 2012, we welcome Darryn [Binder] to our team. For us, he has been part of the family for a long time, as the brother of Brad and someone who has spent a lot of time in our garage.
“He is a rider who has already demonstrated his quality in the World Championship and we are sure that next year he can take another step forward and be in the fight for the top positions regularly.”
Furthermore the diminutive Deniz won the Asia Talent Cup series on the final corner of the last race at Sepang on Sunday. At just 14 years of age, the Turkish twin brothers are two of the most exciting young talents around.
On his team’s plans for the Jr World Championship, Ajo added, “With this new development project in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship, we will build – with the experience of Red Bull, KTM, and the Ajo Academy – on our successful history of supporting young talents.
“Expanding the Moto2 and Moto3 structure to the Junior World Championship is a challenge. Aged just 14 years old, Can and Deniz [Öncü] have already demonstrated their innate talent in competitions like the Red Bull Rookies Cup.
“We all have a lot of confidence in them and hope that with us they will learn and continue their training as riders, which is the main objective. With hard work, results will surely follow.
“I want to thank Red Bull, KTM, Dorna and all the partners once again, as well as all the parties involved, for enabling us to participate in this exciting project.”