News 30 Nov 2018

Zarco still working on Red Bull KTM RC16 base setting

Frenchman satisfied with direction heading into 2019.

Image: Supplied.

With four days total under his belt aboard the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16, Johann Zarco has declared he’s still working on locking down a base setting aboard the Austrian MotoGP machine.

The Frenchman wound up 19th on day two of testing in Jerez, Spain, although the number five confirmed laying down a fast-lap wasn’t the focus throughout the two days, instead he enhanced developments in his transition from Yamaha machinery.

“Some more days with the KTM and I’m happy because I made a step that I was looking for,” Zarco explained. “It gave confirmation for the technicians for which direction we have to go. We began today on a better level and I was improving my lap-time. We then moved to test different things and could not do so many laps.

“We are still working on my base setting. We are not working to be the fastest one out there but the base is coming better and better every time I go out, and I can see that because the lap-time is there and I can repeat it relaxed. It means this is the direction we need.

“This engine is giving a good feeling to go out of the corner. Even if you miss it the bike will go and this is still one of our strong points and when we go faster we will be able to use it even better.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team manager Mike Leitner spoke of Zarco’s continued adaptation to the RC16, stating his understanding of the motorcycle greatened after clocking up 120 laps in the two-day test.

“Johann made a big step with his understanding of the bike and went into the 1m39s lap-times with used tyres and that was positive,” said Leitner. “Also his feeling on the bike was getting better but for sure we still have a lot of work to do with him also. We’ll work during the winter now to be ready for Malaysia.”

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