Tough & Tight Qualifing for Red Bull KTM at Catalan GP
Posted on Jun 16, 2018 by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
MotoGP travelled to the rapid and demanding layout that is the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and with fresh parameters of newly laid asphalt and a revised configuration. Temperatures soared to almost thirty degrees and pushed grip and traction to a premium.
Sunshine bore down on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the seventh round of 2018 MotoGP and Bradley Smith was the quickest Red Bull KTM racer to register the 17th fastest lap-time in qualification for the 24 lap sprint tomorrow.
Bradley Smith, competing at the event where a crash led to a ghoulish finger injury twelve months previously, worked diligently on the set-up of the KTM RC16, and through the Q1 period was less than a second from making into the Q2 cut-off point. The Brit focused on refining the balance between feel and necessary modifications to prolong tyre wear for Sunday.
Bradley Smith (Factory Rider MotoGP):
“In twelve months we have made huge steps (but) we’re within 1.3 and we’re still 17th. We are doing the best that we can at the moment on the bike that we have but we’re still missing something. The job that the manufacturer and the team is doing is phenomenal judging by the lap-times that we do and how close we are compared to podium-position bikes. I’m comfortable on the bike and I’m happy with race pace and one lap pace. We’ll see what happens tomorrow but it will be an awfully long race and the rear tyre is crucial.”
Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP):
“On one hand there is the gap and on the other there is the position and if you look at the grid at the moment then this is a crazy time for MotoGP! I think we are in a much better position than we were a year ago and with the small gaps to the others anything is possible tomorrow. Also it is quite obvious we are struggling a bit more compared to other tracks and our competitors here. It is do with the layout of the track and the tyre allocation. It is difficult to find a tyre that ‘does it all’ and that means a compromise, so it took a while to understand the tyres and find which one to use for that compromise! I don't think we’ll have the perfect bike tomorrow but we’ll try to have the best compromise for the race distance.”
Races: June 17, 2018 – Moto3 11:00 | Moto2 12:20 | MotoGP 14:00 CET