Moto2 World Championship leaders Red Bull KTM Ajo Motorsport have confirmed Deniz Oncu and Celestino Vietti will form an all-new rider line-up for the 2024 Moto2 World Championship.
The Finnish team – helmed by Aki Ajo – is currently en route for a fifth Moto2 World Championship title with Pedro Acosta but will embark on a new chapter for 2024 with a fresh pairing that combines a leading light of its junior programme and a high-profile acquisition from the VR46 Academy.
Oncu will become the second Turkish rider to compete in Moto2 – following on from manager and mentor Kenan Sofuoglu – and steps up from Moto3, where he is currently competing for the title after wins at the Sachsenring and Spielberg.
“I’m very happy to be moving up to Moto2 with Red Bull KTM Ajo,” he said. “The main goal this season is to improve in Moto3 and get good results to fight for the title. We are doing really well together and have victories in Germany and Austria so far.
“I just want to thank Aki, KTM and Red Bull for their confidence in me and for this opportunity. Thanks also to my manager, Kenan Sofuoğlu, for always supporting me.”
Vietti, meanwhile, arrives in the KTM-backed Ajo Motorsport squad after three seasons in Moto2 with VR46 Racing and Fantic Racing. A four-time race winner in Moto2, he is delighted to be getting his opportunity with the 2015, 2016, 2021 and 2022 Moto2 Champions.
“I’m super-excited. It’s a great opportunity for me so I am very happy about the news. I have to say thanks to KTM and Aki Ajo for believing in me. Also, thanks to VR46 Riders Academy Management, as without them none of this would be possible.
“We still have a way to go before the end of this season, so I have to finish this one the best way with my current team. They helped me to achieve many great results this year. It will also enable me to have the confidence to start the new season well. Thank you so much and see you in 2024.”
Champions in 2015 and 2016 with Johann Zarco, then with KTM backing in 2021 and 2022 with Remy Gardner and Augusto Fernandez, Aki Ajo is confident his two new hires will maintain the team’s stellar record in 2024.
“The last few years in Moto2 have been very successful for us and of course we have enjoyed working with all these different riders.
“This year with Pedro and Albert [Arenas] has been very intense and enjoyable; both have improved a lot, we have achieved many podiums and we are even top of the standings.
“Next year we have a new line-up: Deniz Öncü and Celestino Vietti. I have to say that we are excited to have a great mix of experience in this class and young talent with Deniz, who we already know. I think this kind of combination is a really good chance for us to be very successful in Moto2 next year.
“Celestino has shown in the last seasons that he is one of the top riders in the class. Of course, we are very happy to have him on our team alongside Deniz, who is one of the fastest riders in Moto3. The combination will be great, and we are excited about it.”