Pol Espargaro inside the top 10 in Australia
After ninths, tenths and elevenths so far in 2017, the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing team today hit another target with ninth and tenth in the same race with Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith finishing just 16 seconds off the outright winner of the Australian MotoGP. Having qualified sixth and ninth respectively the pair made an electrifying start with Espargaro fourth at the first corner. The pace was typical ‘Phillip Island’ with a train of riders millimetres apart at 310kph, but both KTM RC16s could be in the leading group for the first half of the race. Come the last lap the two riders fought tooth and nail to the line but it was Espargaro who pipped Smith by 0.011 seconds to get two Austrian KTMs inside the top ten for the first time.
“We are now fighting for top tens in Grands Prix regularly – this is a great feeling that we thought might happen a couple of times but this is our fifth top ten of the year and it is with a gap from the leader of just 16 seconds so we are happy with what we’ve done today. In the race the grip on the rear meant I struggled at the start so I lost the train of the race early, but come the flag we were in front of many others with only one retirement so we must be proud of this result as we are still young in this category.”