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19 days ago
By motogp.com

Tech3 "closer to the top guys" ahead of 2020 season

Herve Poncharal was in high spirits in Jerez on Thursday as he looked ahead to what this year might bring for his KTM team

IRTA President and Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager Herve Poncharal is confident that the Austrian factory are closer to the top guys ahead of the 2020 MotoGP™ campaign.

It will be Miguel Oliveria’s second year in the premier class under Poncharal’s wing, with Iker Lecuona all set for his rookie campaign. And speaking to motogp.com pitlane reporter Simon Crafar during the 2020 MotoGP™ class photo in Jerez, the charismatic Frenchman was in high spirits about what his riders – and KTM overall – can achieve this season.

 

“We’re all excited to be finally back starting the Championship and racing. We all know it’s a bit strange wearing a mask, be far from each other, having the paddock almost empty, but we know why and that doesn’t affect the excitement and feeling of being happy and ready,” began Poncharal. “As a team, I think we are much more ready than last year. Clearly we can see the bike has improved a lot during the winter. Right now the KTMs are all the same spec. All four riders will have the same developments, that will help speed up the developments.

“We saw yesterday that Miguel finished the morning session in P8, overall in 11th position; it was a bit more difficult in the afternoon because of the temperature. But we feel good. We feel more ready than last year, closer to the top guys. I think the six factories are really close to each other. We’re very happy to see Miguel fully fit because since last year, since Silverstone, he has been half the Miguel we’re used to, and we’re also to see Iker, finally, as a proper MotoGP rider and it’s impressive to the see the difference of data and riding style he has now compared to November when we were testing here in Jerez.

“We know the grid is very competitive. We’re of course not aiming to win here, otherwise, people will think I’ve been drinking or I’m pretentious. But I think we can have a great round 1 and hopefully, round 2 will be even better for us. We’re under a lot of development. A lot of things are happening here at KTM, and I’m glad. I’m glad to be here. I think we’ll suffer; especially the riders, the tyres and the bike. But I’m pretty sure the show is going to be incredible and maybe better than ever.”

Catch the Red Bull KTM Tech3 and Factory Racing riders in action at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España when FP1 kicks off at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) in Jerez.

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