Pol Espargaro will start 18th in Brno
KTM MotoGP had a very successful test with the KTM RC16 after the last race, spending two days at Aragon with test rider Mika Kallio supporting Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith while KTM Moto2 ride Miguel Oliveira rode a MotoGP bike for the very first time. These test kilometres have been invaluable for KTM here in Brno as Espargaro was within one second of the fastest time in three of the five sessions this weekend. In Qualifying 1 Espargaro was flying with a red/red (fastest) split to put him on course for first position but a spill at the third to last corner meant he had to settle for 8th position in Q1.
“Me and my crew chief Paul (Travathan) talked about the reality of getting through from Q1 to Q2 after this morning’s session. We were there and we knew we could do it, and even though I fell when on the fastest lap of the session at that point, we’ve shown we can do it. The weekend was going so well as we were closer than we expected at this long track that could’ve shown up some of the weak parts of the motorcycle but actually we’ve turned it around and we’ve been really good. We’ve been within one second of the fastest time in both dry free practices today and this is a real high point of the season for us. In qualifying I was on a very hot lap but maybe I over-cooked it, but we were on it to be fastest to the halfway point of the lap. The front was chattering and I lost it on turn 11, the uphill right hander at the bottom of the hill. But don’t forget, with this bike you must play on the limit, but the more you push and the more you risk, the better lap time you get. Overall we are happy as we have a good rhythm. Whatever happens tomorrow I think we are ready, we are enjoying the weekend because for the first time we are confident to be competitive. We tried many things at the Aragon test including testing my riding style but we have new things that are working good and that has shown this weekend.”