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24 days ago
By KTM Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro: "We've improved the KTM pace a lot"

Spaniard praises pace improvements as Austrian factory prepare for lights out

Both Pol Espargaro and teammate Bradley Smith had a positive end to the Phillip Island test for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, with both carrying on the mammoth testing program for the Austrian factory that began this year in Sepang.

Beginning 2017 with three chassis options and “something new on the bike” at every exit of the pits, Phillip Island saw more smaller refinements start to pay off – with Espargaro the lead KTM by the end of business on Day 3 and both Austrian machines spectacularly managing to set 1:29 laps.

#AusTest Day 3 - Rider reactions

The Spaniard’s best was a 1:29.857 – only half a second from the top ten – as KTM continue to impress following their debut at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in November. The team then headed back to Austria to launch the project – alongside sister Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2™ and Moto3™ teams – before setting sights on the next and final winter test at Losail Internation Circuit.

Pol Espargaro, P17: “We've improved the pace quite a lot, and that's where you earn the points. Being on the bike is much better and the lap times are quite close to the first guys. We were really close many times, and I'm very happy about that. The team is working hard, and I think we're putting it all together. The engineers know what to do and how to do it, and they will do something great for Qatar, so I am very happy."