Pol Espargaro 11th in Motegi
Following KTM‘s best qualifying in MotoGP yesterday, the rain continued today at Motegi, Japan, to give some of the worst conditions seen for a Grand Prix in many a year but through the rain Pol Espargaro scored yet more points for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in their debut MotoGP year.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team had never before been on Japanese soil but the team managed to brilliantly qualify both bikes through Q1 directly into Q2 for the first time to be 7th and 8th on the grid as the lights went green. Through enormous plumes of spray Pol Espargaro made a great start. The pace was frenetic at the front but Espargaro cut through the rain on his KTM RC16 to be easily inside the team’s regular target of the top 15 to cross the line in 11th, just outside the top 10.
“It is so hard to ride in these conditions, but considering this is the first time we’ve been here in Japan with the KTM it has been super impressive to qualify so well as a team and then face this race with this amount of water on the track. We’ve never raced in conditions such as these and that was such a step, but in the end I finished 11th. Finishing the race was a priority; we did that as a team so we’ve got more points in the pocket not just from a top 15 finish, but a finish from just on the cusp of the top 10.”