News 12 Oct 2017

KTM slated to retain same line-up for 2018 MotoGP season

Espargaro and Smith to pilot RC16 MotoGP machine again in the new year.

Source: Supplied.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has confirmed it will retain its line-up of riders for the 2018 MotoGP World Championship following its first year in the premier class.

Pol Espargaro will return for another season after claiming the best result for KTM so far, finishing ninth at the Brno grand prix, and has delivered a number of qualifying positions much higher than the team thought of prior to the season commencing.

British talent Bradley Smith, a grand prix winner and a podium man over the three classes he’s contested, will continue on with Austrian manufacturer, clinching his best result of 10th aboard the KTM at San Marino this season.

Mika Kallio will remain as the team’s test rider for 2018 with selected wildcard rides in the works, the Finn has played an instrumental role in the progress of the MotoGP project through his vast experience in grand prix that extend back 17 years.

His three races so far this year have been some of the most impressive for a wildcard in recent times with his commitment and speed, with one final appearance at Valencia later this year. The news comes following ongoing speculation that Kallio could trade roles with Smith for 2018, however that has now been officially ruled out.