News 10 May 2018

Jerez MotoGP testing labelled as important for Red Bull KTM

Austrian outfit makes beneficial gains at Spain's two-day test.

Source: Supplied.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing technical director Sebastian Risse has labelled this week’s MotoGP testing at Jerez in Spain as important after the team put a number of parts and ideas to use over the two days.

KTM’s regular contenders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro both completed the test alongside long-time test rider Mika Kallio, who lodged an impressive 10th place result in a wildcard appearance at the weekend’s grand prix aboard the 2019 KTM RC16 prototype.

Smith and Espargaro had the opportunity to pilot next year’s machine, while much of the test consisted of utilising new components that were unable to be used through the opening overseas rounds of the year.

“A lot of things piled-up – a lot of parts and ideas – that we could not go through the overseas races and even some things left over from pre-season tests,” Risse explained. “We also had some doubts and decisions to make so this test was important. We had good conditions and we’re very pleased with the results.

“Not only was the pace good but we made a step forward in many areas and now we need to prove that on other racetracks and in other circumstances. We discovered some answers that we didn’t find on the race weekend at Jerez, so it was already quite positive in this aspect. We are also happy regarding some longer-term ideas that we confirmed with the GP riders.”

Espargaro, who recently signed a contract extension with the Austrian outfit, completed five-consecutive days on-track along with his teammates throughout the grand prix and testing, however it’s proved to be beneficial as improvements were made to the current race bike.

“It has been a good week,” said Espargaro. “Even if the result was not that great in the race we have worked hard and have kept positive. After the two day test I am quite impressed and happy by the improvements coming for the future.

“The best is yet to come but we are also improving with our current race bike and we tried a lot of stuff and recorded a lot of info. I’m happy with it. We keep learning about this bike; we are working like crazy and one day I am sure we’ll be in the top 10 regularly.”

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team will be out on-track next at Le Mans’ fifth round of the series on 20 May in France.