Red Bull KTM MotoGP project speeds ahead in Spielberg
Posted on Aug 14, 2017 by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
The Spielberg weekend once more did not disappoint for the fans as over the Home Grand Prix weekend 201,589 people came to see their heroes, the second highest number of fans attending a race so far in 2017.
Following KTM's first top ten finish in MotoGP last weekend, Mika Kallio rode one of the races of his life today at the Spielberg track to be tenth in only the eleventh race for the KTM RC16 motorcycle. The Finn, a winner for KTM in 125cc and 250cc was only 19.7 seconds off the winner of the race – his best ever in the top class of prototype GP racing. Without doubt Pol Espargaro was up for a top ten finish too but was sideswiped by another rider as he accelerated off the line but then had a brake sensor failure on the first lap, a one-in-a-thousand chance failure. Bradley Smith was unfortunately unable to score points as the warmer weather didn't suit his set up in the gruelling race. He now looks forward to his home race at Silverstone in the U.K.
Bradley Smith (Factory Rider MotoGP):
"This has certainly been a busy race and one that I won't forget in terms of the huge support from the orange family. It was very cool to see the KTM Grandstand packed full of 8,200 people on the warm up lap was pretty cool, I'm not going to lie. The race didn't didn't quite turn out how I necessarily thought it would as I made a good start and was hanging in there holding low 1m 25s like I did in warm up but the warmer weather took its toll and however much I changed my style I couldn't quite hold onto that pace. I was pleased as I was holding off some good guys but I had a big moment at turn 9 and ran off the track and then I had to get it home.To see KTM get another top ten was great."
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP):
"Everybody is so happy we've had another top ten position, this time at our first Home Grand Prix. We had three riders on the grid but at the flag Mika and the team did a fantastic job. This was a strong result with KTM there all race. No one dropped out in front of us so we are very happy, but we've been very very unlucky with Pol because I'm 100% sure it was going to be his day today to even get a better result than last week in Brno. He showed his potential this morning and had a great feeling on the bike but that clash with another bike off the start damaged the rear brake. He's so so disappointed but he will have his days when he will make us really happy. Bradley is still struggling on the bike so he could not achieve what he wanted and we wanted but in general we have had two races with a top ten result so that shows the project is going in the right direction."
Next Race: August 27, 2017 – Silverstone Circuit (GBR)