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18 days ago
By motogp.com

Zarco and KTM: a step forward in Sepang?

After a tricky initial transition from Yamaha to KTM, the Frenchman will be hoping to find his feet in Malaysia...

2019 signals a new challenge for Johann Zarco as he joins Pol Espargaro in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing ranks, but it wasn’t the smooth transition the Frenchman was hoping for at the Valencia and Jerez Tests.

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Zarco and KTM: the Frenchman's most important pre-season yet

The double Moto2™ World Champion said “it was worse than expected” after the Valencia Test, which included two crashes. But, things were a little more positive in Jerez and both rider and team will have been working flat out during the winter in order to improve the feeling ahead of the Sepang Test.

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Zarco continues adapting to KTM's RC16

KTM are now heading into their third MotoGP™ campaign since returning to the premier class in 2017, with Pol Espargaro continuing his journey with the team in 2019. The buzz from the Spaniard’s maiden MotoGP™ podium in Valencia at the end of the 2018 season is a welcome springboard for KTM as they enter an important year, with the 2013 Moto2™ World Champion “trying many things” in Valencia and Jerez.

And don’t forget, Red Bull KTM Tech 3 will also be aiming to continue their adaptation to the RC16, with Hafizh Syahrin and rookie Miguel Oliveira looking to gain as much experience as possible in Sepang on their new machines. How close to the sharp end will all four KTMs be as 2019 testing revs back into life? 

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