KTM find positives in Argentina

Espargaro takes P11 to get the Austrian factory’s first points of the season

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) crossed the line in eleventh place at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina to seal the manufacturer’s first points of the season – a more positive weekend for the team who are now in their second year since debuting in the MotoGP™ class.

The Spaniard finished less than ten seconds behind Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), whilst also beating the likes of Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Dovi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo. A step forward then for KTM, who had a tough first race of the year in Qatar.

Reflecting on the chaotic race, Espargaro said, “You always want more but overall after the crazy situation with the rain and the delayed start procedure – and to finish eleventh is still not our wish or place – but I think we did OK. I think 11th is not a bad result but we want more and we need to improve our bike to be where we want to be and we have a long way to go. But we will work hard and now look to Austin.”

Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) also had a strong showing in the race, making up considerable places on the opening laps to reach as high as ninth before contact with other riders led to him falling back down the order. The two-time MotoGP™ podium finisher then crashed at Turn 1 with eight laps to go – however he comes away from Termas with a good feeling.

“It was an exciting start to the race and I think I made up twelve positions in the first laps. I was fully committed in the patchy conditions. Unfortunately, I had a few situations where riders hit me and I lost a lot of ground. It was a frustrating way to end the race but there are a lot of positives from this weekend. I found a good feeling with the bike from FP1 and the performance was there in the race so I need to keep doing the same things.”

Another positive for KTM as a manufacturer was Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) getting their first Moto3™ win since Andrea Migno’s victory in Mugello last year, making a positive springboard ahead of the next race in Texas.