Closest MotoGP finish for Red Bull KTM at Aragon
Posted on Sep 24, 2017 by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
KTM shone under the Aragon sun in Spain today as the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing team again took a top ten finish in the team's debut year.
Bradley Smith didn't quite have the pace of his team mates but looks towards a very important two day test that now follows on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Aragon circuit with all three riders again looking to further develop, enhance and fine tune the latest parts produced by KTM Motorsport in Austria before the Asian trio of races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
The fourth top ten for the KTM RC16 motorcycle was taken as Pol Espargaro came home in tenth spot today, but what was more significant for the fledgling KTM MotoGP project was the fact he was just 14 seconds behind the winner of the race after 24 laps of the 5.078 km circuit with such a wide range and type of corners and straights within one lap.
KTM MotoGP test rider Mika Kallio, in only his third wild card race of the season, excelled once more just as he did at Spielberg, this time finishing in 11th place just three seconds behind Espargaro.
Bradley Smith (Factory Rider MotoGP):
"I'm pleased with today to turn around things from practice. Starting from the back row wasn't easy but with the soft tyre I could get myself into contention; the bad news is that it maybe wasn't the best of tyre choices in the long run. It was a gamble but towards the end it wasn't to be as it's frustrating to miss out on a points scoring finish. Now we all look forward to the test on Tuesday and Wednesday to put together a solid package for the fly-away races."
Pit Bierer (KTM Motorsport Director):
"To be fourteen seconds behind the winner is a result we couldn't even dream of at the start of the season, but you could feel all weekend it was something special in the air. We were competitive in every practice for really good positions and not by fluke circumstances as our guys were fast the whole weekend. Qualifying wasn't quite there but the race was fantastic. There is a now a new time in our books which is fourteen seconds back of the win, and to do this on a long track, on a hot day without anyone gifting us places, was a fantastic day and another milestone for the KTM MotoGP project."
Next Race: October 15, 2017 – Twin Ring Motegi (JAP)