Red Bull KTM factory riders looking forward to race day at Spielberg after qualifying

Red Bull KTM factory riders looking forward to race day at Spielberg after qualifying

12.08.2017: QUALIFYING 11th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (AUT) Under the shadow of the Styrian mountains at the Red

QUALIFYING 11th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (AUT)



Under the shadow of the Styrian mountains at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing team today attacked qualifying for tomorrow's Austrian MotoGP race with a 16th, and 18th and a 22nd place with all riders taking huge confidence to the race in terms of race pace for all three KTM RC16 bikes entered.



Pol Espargaro headed the charge with test rider Mika Kallio – as a wildcard – right on his tail in only his second race weekend of the season. Bradley Smith has found pace with his No.38 bike this weekend, again confident for points in the 28 lap race tomorrow. In Moto2 Miguel Oliveira made it another top ten start with 8th place with team mate Brad Binder a little frustrated to be 18th but less than 0.9 seconds back of pole.



Moto3 saw a brilliant KTM pole position with the Austrian motorcycles dominating qualifying with a 1-2. Gabriel Rodrigo took his second pole position in as many races with team mate Juanfran Guevara backing up the speed of the KTM RC250GPs in second place. KTM has an even bigger fan grandstand here this year with over 8,200 people watching tomorrow from inside of the Omega corner as the racing debut of the KTM RC16 takes place on Austrian soil.

 


MotoGP


Fresh from his 9th place in last Sunday's Czech MotoGP, Pol Espargaro pushed hard around the Spielberg mountain side circuit to be the leading KTM just under 0.2 ahead of KTM MotoGP test rider Mika Kallio who is making his second race appearance this year. Kallio hasn't ridden the KTM RC16 as much as the regular team riders this year but was mighty in qualifying.



 He was held up a little towards the end of his fast lap by another rider causing him to lose time but he was content with his race pace found in free practice. Bradley Smith dug deep today to get onto the frenetic pace of MotoGP in this current era eventually being just 1.6 off the pole position and yet in 22nd position.



Espargaro
: "We've tried hard today, improving well from this morning so I'm very happy. I felt good on the bike to do one lap, doing three consecutive laps all around the same time, but I couldn't quite do one perfect lap.



 However for race pace it's a much better story so that means we have a good chance for tomorrow's race. We had some problems with the tyre allocation and getting the tyre to work so we need to go through that quickly in the warm up but to race in front of that huge grandstand with all the KTM employees and fans in, it's a privilege to ride the KTM here in Austria."



Kallio: "
It's been a good day as I improved the time and the feeling on the bike from this morning, particularly with my feeling with the front tyre and front fork. We have new things here this weekend; new frame, suspension, rear shock, front fork and other things but we made a decision last night to go back to the front forks I'm used to and I know.



This was the right decision for me as it gave me more confidence to brake later and for it to dip into the corner quicker and with that I was able to push harder and take more risk...which improved the time. I'm 0.16secs from Pol so from our (test team) side of the garage we can be happy.




 On my best lap I was following Pol and Folger but in the last corners I was right on them but Folger made a mistake and I lost 0.2 as a result of that. I wish I could have those 2 tenths back as I may well have gone through to Q2, but we're very happy with what all of the KTM team have done."



Smith:
"Today was a positive day finding some progress with the front of the bike as through FP4 I tried some different tyre combinations that made me more comfortable resulting in my race pace to be good and consistent towards a low 1m 25sec. If I can do that tomorrow we can have a chance of being in a good position.



Qualifying was a little frustrating as on the second run I had a brake problem so the second tyre didn't quite get the full treatment from me. I'm on a good side of the track off the grid for turns one and two so hopefully I can put on a good show and get a great result for the thousands of KTM fans here in Austria."



Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP):
"First of all let me say that being here at the home race with so many people here is something very special for the KTM team.



Talking technically, this afternoon to get the tyres to work when the conditions have changed after the rain and cooler conditions has been hard, but we did a big learning curve today after we 'lost' yesterday with a little rain. However, we dug in and although the qualifying result doesn't look too bad I think our race pace is much better in relation to the others on the grid."





Results Qualifying MotoGP Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 2017


1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda, 1:23.235 min
2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati, +0.144 sec
3. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP), Ducati, +0.386
4. Maverick Vinales (ESP), Yamaha, +0.519
5. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Ducati, +0.545

KTM

16. Pol Espargaro (ESP), KTM, +0.866
18. Mika Kallio (FIN), KTM, +1.026
22. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, +1.295





PHILIPP GRÜNBERGER, photos PHillip Platzer KTM

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/red-bull-ktm-factory-riders-race-day-spielberg---166893.html

12.08.2017 / MaP

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