KTM READY TO RACE first MotoGP Home Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg

Courtesy of KTM Racing

KTM RC16 2017
Copyright: © Sebas Romero / KTM Media Library

The Austrian MotoGP weekend at Spielberg marks the home Grand Prix for the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team after their public debut of the KTM RC16 at the track 12 months ago. Fresh from last weekend’s race in the Czech Republic where Pol Espargaro finished inside the top ten for the very first time with a ninth position, the team has completed another day of testing there where more data was gathered for KTM’s MotoGP project.

The busy schedule of back to back Grands Prix means Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will be riding their MotoGP KTM RC16 motorcycles for seven out of the ten days that cover last weekend’s Czech Republic and this weekend’s Austrian races, only serving to keep them in the ‘rhythm’ of the race. KTM test rider Mika Kallio will be also back on track with his second wild card appearance after the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring before the summer break.
Many fans from the worldwide KTM family will be at the mountain based Spielberg circuit to watch the on-track action from the spectacular KTM Tribune that has over 8,200 seats. KTM is READY TO RACE at home.
Bradley Smith KTM RC16 Automotodrom Brno 2017
Copyright: © Gold and Goose / KTM Media Library

Smith: “The great thing about this week is that it started well with a day’s testing at Brno on Monday; we made some really big improvements so I’m excited about that as we come here to Spielberg. Looking back on last year’s test here with Mika and Tom Luethi it was a good test, so let’s hope we can build on that now we’re half way into our first full season too. The track layout should allow us to be quick and competitive so there’s a fantastic buzz already around the garage and the paddock with the people from the factory and the fans I met here yesterday (Thursday). There’s more and more people here wearing orange!”

Pol Espargaro Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Gold and Goose / KTM Media Library

: “I’m so happy and proud to be here this weekend at Spielberg, the home race for KTM. We’re coming off our best result so far with a ninth at Brno so all of the mechanics and staff are genuinely pumped up to get this weekend underway. Sure, there’s a little bit of pressure, but that’s good. We’ve taken a lot from last weekend where I was able to push hard in the race, catch people and pass them with the speed we had. That was fantastic – a great feeling believe me. Every race we’re a little bit better, and every test, especially the Aragon test after Sachsenring, was very positive. We’re improving the bike. In Qatar we finished; in Argentina we scored points and then in Brno we had a top ten. This is great progress that I wish to carry on into KTM’s home race here in Spielberg as the work for the guys in the factory is relentless. A great feeling for us all.” 

Mika Kallio Box Sachsenring 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library

: “Before Sachsenring I said that this layout should suit our bike. We know our weak point with the bike and it seems that may be lessened here for us, just like Sachsenring where we were on the pace. Last weekend at Brno Pol was good in both dry and wet conditions so it’s proof the bike is improving considerably following the last frame upgrade. Like always, today’s first practice is important to get into the groove as when we last came here a year ago the bike was completely different. As at Sachsenring, we need to concentrate on our own things and try to keep it simple throughout the weekend. I’m looking forward to it.”

Standings MotoGP 2017 after 10 of 18 races

1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda, 154 points
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha, 140
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati, 133
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha, 132
5. Dani Pedrosa (ESP), Honda, 123
19. Pol Espargaro (ESP), KTM, 21
22. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, 8

Time Schedule MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix 2017

Free Practice 1   09:55-10:40
Free Practice 2   14:05-14:50
Free Practice 3   09:55-10:40
Free Practice 4   13:30-14:00
Qualifying 1        14:10-14:25
Qualifying 2        14:35-14:50
Warm Up             09:40-10:00
Race (28 laps)    14:00
Times Media Debrief 
Friday 16:45 BS38 | 16:50 PE44 | 16:55 MK36
Saturday 16:45 BS38 | 16:50 PE44 | 16:55 MK36
Sunday 16:45 BS38 | 16:50 PE44 | 16:55 MK36
@NEW Red Bull Energy Station (first 5min TV)



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