“Sometimes a millimetre is doing nothing. But sometimes it’s really the key” - Kalex’s secret to success

Alex Baumgaertel, founder of Kalex, offers his views on nine consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship victories in the Moto2 class, keeping an open mind and working for the future.

The news went slightly unnoticed at Silverstone back in August. But Remy Gardner’s fourth win of the year was enough to secure the Moto2 Manufacturers’ title for Kalex for an ninth consecutive season. That’s some achievement for a company consisting of just seven people, with only three currently attending races due to paddock restrictions.

Perhaps it is the regularity with which the German company wins that meant this particular crown was all but a given from the first race. A Kalex-backed rider has won every Moto2 outing this year. And last year, for that matter. In fact, of the 90 podium positions up for grabs over the past two seasons, riders using a Kalex frame has taken 83 of them. That’s total domination.

The grid is currently awash with the German manufactured frames, with 22 Kalex-backed riders in a grid of 30 – and that’s set to increase in 2022. With only four Boscoscuros and a pair of NTS and MV Agusta frames, Kalex certainly has strength in numbers.

Veni, Vidi, Vici

And while Moto2 currently lacks the mechanical variety of a few years back, when KTM’s frame was competing for podiums, race wins and championships, and certainly the early years of the class (six chassis manufacturers won at least one race in 2010, the first year of the Moto2 class), the story of how Kalex came to dominate is deeply impressive.

From achieving early success with Stefan Bradl in 2011, more and more teams requested their frame. As Alex Baumgaertel, the mastermind behind the chassis design and, along with Klaus Hirsekorn, the founder of Kalex, acknowledges that competition is so tight, a proven package with an impressive track record is invaluable. “Now the competition is so close so the teams are very, very conservative when it comes to trying new things in a weekend.

“In the beginning – the first five, six years – this was much more. But that reduced because the competition became so close so the base set-ups are known. And no one touches anything. So, it’s much more difficult to explore new areas. This class is very, very tight. Sometimes a millimetre is doing nothing. But sometimes it’s really the key.”

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Comments

Thanks Neil. Excellent article about a subject that hasn't been touched on. Very informative!