Encouraging first MotoGP test for Red Bull KTM in Thailand

Posted on Feb 18, 2018 by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

The Chang International Circuit was the all-new venue for this week's MotoGP test. The circuit's inaugural MotoGP activity saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team enjoy a productive outing in Thailand.

Injury forced Pol Espargaro to sit out the three day test but Bradley Smith and Mika Kallio were able to make significant progress with the KTM RC16. Having struggled with braking performance in Malaysia both riders found improvements in this area. In addition to this new chassis, suspension and aerodynamic parts were available for evaluation.

With only three more days of testing prior to the start of the season on 18th March the excitment is starting to build within the team.

Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP):
"Testing is always very busy! There is always a long list of items that you need to work on and to assess. It takes a lot of time and energy in the winter to try different things and even if they don't give you a big improvement in laptime they do offer a lot of data to help your knowledge of the package. The team did a great job this week because it was tough not to have Pol. We hope that he will be back for the Qatar test but Bradley and Mika did a great job this week. I think that we've been able to see a direction for us to follow for the start of the season and that we can be quite happy with this test."

Bradley Smith (Factory Rider MotoGP):
"I think that we're in a better situation than we were in after Malaysia. When we finished the Sepang test we didn't have the same feeling with the bike that we finished last year with. Then we were pushing for the top 12 but we didn't have that feeling during the first test. For this test the guys analysed the Malaysian data and we found a better feeling and made some refinements. Corner entry was a struggle at Malaysia and it surprised us not to have that feeling. The strength of the KTM last year was under braking and that's very important here in Thailand and we found it much better this week. We've been able to work on a lot of chassis and aerodynamic improvements. It's been good to test here and learn the track and we're definitely more in the mix compared to the Malaysian test."

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP):
"It's been a very busy test for Bradley and Mika. We are trying to sort out the new bike. We are still a new team and the processes of this phase is quite new for us. Developing the bike in year two is quite different to last year because we don't intend on changing much now. We found some improvements with the chassis, the aerodynamics and the electronics. We've able to find some steps across the whole bike and that's a big positive for us. This has been a good test and the riders have done a great job. It's a shame that Pol isn't here this week but Bradley and Mika did a good job."

Combined Results MotoGP IRTA Test Chang International Circuit 2018
1. Dani Pedrosa (ESP), Honda, 1:29.781 min, 253/254 laps (Day 3 )
2. Johann Zarco (FRA),  Yamaha, +0.086 sec, 171/174 (Day 3)
3. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda, +0.188, 169/271 (Day 2)
4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR), Honda, +0.283, 205/236 (Day 3)
5. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki, +0.397, 141/192 (Day 3)
18. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, +1.140, 202/217 (Day 3)
19. Mika Kallio (FIN), KTM, +1.388, 201/231 (Day 3)

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