News 8 Aug 2017

Espargaro credits KTM its first top 10 in MotoGP racing

Spaniard races to ninth at the Czech grand prix.

Source: Supplied.

Pol Espargaro earned Red Bull KTM Factory Racing its first top 10 finish in MotoGP racing last weekend at the Czech grand prix, racing to ninth in the wet and dry 22-lap race.

Starting 18th on the grid, Espargaro navigated his way through field, making a timely swap of machines when the conditions dried up to position himself close to the top 10.

An error following the swap saw him lose a further six seconds, although despite the mistake, he was still able to hang onto ninth as he crossed the chequered flag.

“I am super happy for the team and everyone involved in this MotoGP project,” Espargaro expressed. “[I] remember we started our first race in Qatar 10 races ago and we finished, then we got points in Argentina and now we get a top 10 in August at Brno.

“It’s real today – after I changed bikes I made a mistake and lost six seconds going through the gravel, but away from that we’ve done a super job this weekend. I’m happy that I rode well this weekend but the team have done such an outstanding job.

The Spaniard explained the stopping power of the RC16 isn’t an issue, however it was still lacking in the corners at the Brno venue.

“The bike is so good on the brakes,” he continued. “But we’re still missing something on the cornering but here today with what we have after ten races it was working very well. After the recent tests we can all feel the difference and upward direction in the level of the bike.”

Espargaro’s teammate Bradley Smith failed to finish the race with a technical problem, with the pair now heading to the Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend for manufacturer’s home round of the MotoGP World Championship.