Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Kallio top 10 in Austria as MotoGP project speeds ahead

Courtesy of KTM Racing

Mika Kallio, Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith & Team KTM RC16 Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library

In front of just over 90,400 people the Austrian Grand Prix weekend again wowed the crowds at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg today as they witnessed another great result for the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing team as Mika Kallio stamped his authority on another top ten finish for the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike in only its first season. Miguel Oliveira in Moto2 was scything through the field with record lap after record lap to be within touching distance of yet another podium only to fall five laps from home. KTM started from pole position in Moto3 and came home with a second position as German Philipp Oettl headed a huge group over the line. 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.
Esteban Garcia, Mika Kallio & Stefan Pierer KTM RC16 Start Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library

Kallio: “That was a super, super race, something that was the absolute maximum that we could do from our side as I thought before the race I have a realistic chance to get some points. I managed to make a great start and got some places early on in the first corners. I could stay with guys around me giving me more boost to push and push even though this track looks on paper not so difficult it is very hard physically, particularly on the brakes and that makes a difference as I haven’t raced so much recently so if I’m racing more often I could be even closer. Today was however one of the best races I’ve done in MotoGP as when you look at the gap, this was the closest I’ve ever been to the winner in MotoGP at just 19.7 seconds back, so after 28 laps this is a huge step forward for the KTM MotoGP project and I’m very proud to be part of it.”

Bradley Smith KTM RC16 Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library

Smith: “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.” 

Pol Espargaro & Mechanics KTM RC16 Start Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library

Espargaro: “I’m so disappointed for what has happened today as we just had simple bad luck. We had the opportunity to show the world what KTM is doing with this great project after 7th in the warm up this morning. I had the speed and pace but a sensor on the rear brake wasn’t working so I had no rear brake from the first lap. Such a shame as it’s out biggest race in front of this huge crowd but now we have a test in Misano and then Silverstone for the next MotoGP.”

Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith & Mika Kallio KTM RC16 Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library

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.”


Brad Binder & Miguel Oliviera KTM Moto2 Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library
In a thrilling Moto2 race, Red Bull Ajo KTM’s Miguel Oliveira fought through with some stunning outright lap record times o nthe KTM Moto2 bike, but with a podium position in sight he fell just five laps from home. It was a nasty high speed crash but he was up on his feet after a few moments. Team mate Brad Binder continues to build his speed in his debut Moto2 as he made up ten places in the first lap to be seventh from seventeenth on the grid. He took a great seventh at the line to log his best ever finish in Moto2 as he returns to full fitness after an arm injury. The Red Bull Ajo team look forward to a day of testing at the Spielberg track tomorrow before moving on to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks time.

Binder: “The race went pretty well. I was fortunate to be on the inside of the first corner, so I found myself up in seventh after only one lap. That compensated for the fact that we did not have a good qualifying session, since we started very well. I pushed very hard in the beginning, although later the rear tyre dropped off a little and I made a mistake, so I found it hard to be able to fight with my group again. Overall I’m happy, it’s been a positive weekend and I want to thank my team setting up the bike so well after a crash this morning in the warmup. I’m looking forward to the next race.”

Oliveira: “It was a very positive race. We had been able to close the gap to the front group after they escaped on the opening laps, and five laps from the end I could see that we had victory within reach. It was very important to take this step forward after having had difficulties in practice. It’s a shame about the crash; I lost the rear wheel and was thrown off the bike. Luckily nothing is broken, although my whole body is very sore. Tomorrow we have a day of testing, but I don’t know if I’m going to be fit in time.”


Brad Binder & Miguel Oliviera KTM Moto2 Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Philip Platzer / KTM Media Library
Germany’s Philipp Oettl was overjoyed as he clinched his best even Grand Prix finish today in second, his KTM heading a titanic gaggle of riders in yet another closely fought Moto3 race. Gabriel Rodrigo on his KTM RC250 GP started from pole position and was the second KTM over the line in seventh as six KTMs finished inside the top 14. After strongly leading the race for some laps, Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Bo Bendsneyder unfortunately fell as did his team mate Niccolo Antonelli who was caught up with another rider.
Aki Ajo: (Team Manager Moto3): “The final result is a shame because it had been a very good weekend in Moto3. Especially for Bo (Bendsneyder), who has proven to be very fast all the time and very consistent. Even at the start of the race he was incredibly fast. It’s a shame that he crashed, as in Moto3 you make a mistake and you pay dearly for it. It has also been a positive Grand Prix for Niccolo (Antonelli). His fitness is better and he has been able to fight more. We have to be positive and think that last year we had a great race at Silverstone, so we have to try to repeat that.”

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Kazuki Masaki KTM RC250 RB Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Red Bull / Gold and Goose
Kazuki Masaki took his first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup victory with a brilliant last lap on his KTM RC250 RB, holding off Can Öncü and Saturday’s winner Ai Ogura. 16-year-old Japanese Masaki closed the points gap on cup leader Öncü to just five as the pair pull away from Spanish 16-year-old Aleix Viu who crossed the line 11th and is now 28 points off the lead.
Next Race: August 27, 2017 – Silverstone Circuit (GBR)

Results Race MotoGP Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 2017

1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati, 39:43.323 (28 laps)
2. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda, +0.176 sec
3. Dani Pedrosa (ESP), Honda, +2.661
4. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP), Ducati, +6.663
5. Johann Zarco (FRA), Yamaha, +7.262
10. Mika Kallio (FIN), KTM, +19.766
18. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, +36.423
DNF Pol Espargaro (ESP), KTM, +26 laps

Standings MotoGP 2017 after 11 of 18 races
1. Marquez, 174 points
2. Dovizioso, 158
3. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha, 150
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha, 141
5. Dani Pedrosa (ESP), Honda, 139
19. Espargaro, 21
22. Smith, 8
24. Kallio, 6

Results Race Moto2 Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (ITA), Kalex, 37:39.370 min (25 laps)
2. Alex Marquez (ESP), Kalex, +1.312
3. Tom Luethi (SUI), Kalex, +2.544
4. Franceso Bagnaia (ITA), Kalex, +3.070
5. Mattia Pasini (ITA), Kalex, +3.745
7. Brad Binder (RSA), KTM, +9.018
DNF Miguel Oliveira (POR), KTM, +5 laps

Standings Moto2 2017 after 11 of 18 races
1. Morbidelli, 207 points
2. Luethi, 181
3. Marquez, 153
4. Oliveira, 133
5. Bagnaia, 100
16. Binder, 38

Philipp Oettl Podium Red Bull Ring Spielberg 2017
Copyright: © Gold and Goose / KTM Media Library

Results Race Moto3 Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 2017
1. Joan Mir (ESP), Honda, 37:23.124 min (23 laps)
2. Philipp Oettl (GER), KTM, +3.045 sec
3. Jorge Martin (ESP), Honda, +3.377
4. Livio Loi (), Honda, +3.385
5. Aron Canet (ESP), Honda, +3.502
7. Gabriel Rodrigo (ESP), KTM, +3.804
9. Jaume Masia (ESP), KTM, +4.310
DNF Bo Bendsneyder (NED), KTM, +8 laps
DNF Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), KTM, +9 laps

Standings Moto3 2017 after 11 of 18 rounds
1. Mir, 215 points
2. Romano Fenati (ITA), Honda, 151
3. Canet, 137
4. Martin, 105
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA), Honda, 95
7. Marcos Ramirez (ESP), KTM, 92
8. Andrea Migno (ITA), KTM, 83
9. Juanfran Guevara (ESP), KTM, 71
13. Bendsneyder, 25
20. Antonelli, 16

Can Öncü, Kazuki Masaki & Ai Ogura Podium Red Bull Ring Speilberg 2017
Copyright: © Red Bull / Gold and Goose

Results Race 2 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 2017
All riders on KTM RC250 RB bikes
1. Kazuki Masaki (JAP), 28:36.844 min (17 laps)
2. Can Öncü (TUR), +0.208 sec

3. Ai Ogura (JAP), +0.262
4. Ryusei Yamanaka (JAP), +0.814
5. Deniz Öncü (TUR), +1.509

Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2017 after 10 of 13 races
1. C. Öncü, 154 points
2. Masaki, 149
3. Alex Viu (ESP), 126

4. Yamanaka, 100
5. D. Öncü, 99


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