Almost 70,000 spectators cooked in early summer sunshine at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for the fourth round of nineteen in the 2018 MotoGP contest. Track temperatures crept up to 45 degrees by the time of the 25 lap premier class race in the middle of the afternoon in southern Spain.
In a dramatic affair that was lined with incident and accident, Mika Kallio took the updated spec of the KTM RC16 to a top ten ranking and just beat Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard had to defend his slot from a last corner attack from Bradley Smith as the duo defied rear grip issues to battle to the final moments. All three riders were within 21 seconds of race winner Marc Marquez.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will remain in Spain with two busy days of testing slated for Monday and Tuesday.
“We had a clear direction with the tyres yesterday then today everything in the race changed; it is like a gamble. I didn’t feel good from the first lap and thought ‘wow, it is going to be a long race’. I was trying, and in the end Mika overtook me: it is a good sign that the things coming are working well. I want to start to develop the new toys for the future and it will be fun for us. I would love to use it but KTM is over-working and what we are doing nobody has done before. It is pretty crazy that Mika is using the updated bike in Jerez. I don’t like that he is in front of me today…but we need to take it as positive.”