Seventh top 10 in MotoGP for Red Bull KTM in Malaysia
Posted on Oct 30, 2017 by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
The Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing team today took their seventh top ten finish in their debut season of MotoGP racing as Pol Espargaro clinched tenth in the Malaysian Grand Prix with team mate Bradley Smith not far behind him in twelfth.
The heavens opened just as the MotoGP bikes were going to the grid but that didn’t bother the KTM MotoGP riders on their KTM RC16 as the lights went green; Smith made up nine places on the opening lap to be a fantastic seventh. A lap later he was sixth before he saw the flag in a very creditable 12th but as close as he’s been to the winner of a wet race.
Espargaro was not quite as fast off the line, but brilliantly fought non-stop to raise himself up to 7th place by the mid way point. The number 44 rider ultimately finished 10th at the flag bagging yet more points for himself and the team.
Bradley Smith (Factory Rider MotoGP):
“The start today was good fun as I took chances trying to overtake as many as possible using the best of the softer rear tyre that I had while it was wet. Then I wasn’t quite able to make the final steps to defend that great start as the track didn’t quite dry out but just got ‘less wet’. I was as close to the winner in terms of time today as I have been in the wet so we’re going in the right direction for that kind of set up for the coming races. It’s been a great three weeks of racing and I’ve really enjoyed getting back into a normal place that I believe I should be.”
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP):
“We didn’t know what we would find at these three overseas races but in particular Sepang is where I thought it might be difficult for us. The reality is that is has been difficult as we are up against the other manufacturers who’ve done so much testing here since the start of the four stroke era, but the KTM team did a great job. The riders and the two crews did a perfect job making us all fit quite well together with the support from Mattighofen; they’re always giving us something new enabling us to make small steps forward. Now we are happy after these three weeks to have a weekend at home and then go fresh to Valencia with our three riders as Mika (Kallio) is there so let’s just go for it and make a good end to the season.”
The MotoGP teams now have one final race of the season in two week’s time in Valencia, Spain.
Next Race: November 12, 2017 – Circuit Ricardo Tormo (ESP)