Solid points for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at Motegi
Posted on Oct 15, 2017 by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team had never before been on Japanese soil but the team managed to brilliantly qualify both bikes through Q1 directly into Q2 for the first time to be 7th and 8th on the grid as the lights went green. Through enormous plumes of spray both Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro made great starts. The pace was frenetic at the front but Espargaro cut through the rain on his KTM RC16 to be easily inside the team’s regular target of the top 15 to cross the line in 11th, just outside the top 10. Bradley Smith played it safe in the first few laps but saw the flag in 17th place.
Bradley Smith (Factory Rider MotoGP):
“They were tricky conditions out there with a lot of water; kinda similar to what we had in Misano but here it just kept on raining. I went back a bit from seventh on the grid...but I was seventh on the grid! It’s been a positive weekend in many ways and through all of the sessions even after a small crash this morning which put me a little on edge at the start. We have had many positives from the wet laps here to take forward to Phillip Island and Sepang, particularly for it rains there. Overall I’m happy with the overall weekend as it was the first time in these conditions so we’ll learn going forward.”
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP):
“For all riders that was a difficult race but especially for us as we have not so many kilometres of experience in the wet, but we performed so well yesterday in qualifying that gave us a chance today. Much of this on going improvement is coming from the KTM Motorsport team in Austria who are working so hard reacting, designing and manufacturing new parts. In today’s race, when you have to look after the tyre we still have potential to improve. Pol did so well and to be fair, Bradley was not so bad at all but not quite in the points, but after his great qualifying yesterday he showed he can ride a bike well. But as I said, in the rain we’ll take this data forward for the next wet race that could easily be in Australia or Malaysia.”
The MotoGP World Championship now moves on to Australia and the spectacular circuit of Phillip Island next weekend.
Next Race: October 22, 2017 – Phillip Island (AUS)