Scorching sunshine meant a red hot pace at the Mugello circuit for the qualifying sessions for the Italian MotoGP today with KTM fighting in... Pol Espargaro qualifies 18th in Mugello

Scorching sunshine meant a red hot pace at the Mugello circuit for the qualifying sessions for the Italian MotoGP today with KTM fighting in all three classes. In the premier MotoGP class, improvements to the KTM RC16 have worked well for Pol Espargaro to ultimately qualify just 1.1 seconds off the front row in 18th.

With a new chassis freshly delivered to both riders from Austria for this weekend, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders worked hard to further improve the working window for the KTM RC16. It was a hot day in the Tuscan countryside with the track temperature hitting 54 degrees celcius – as warm as it is in Malaysia – meaning lap times were actually a little slower than last year for the pole position battlers. However, with KTM progress was found technically with the bike that is racing at its sixth GP tomorrow. Indeed, the MotoGP class has produced some exceptionally close times this weekend with the top twelve on the grid split by just 0.9 seconds over a 106 second lap proving this is the very pinnacle of prototype motorcycle racing.

Pol Espargaro:

“Honestly I think it’s the track where we have made the biggest improvement this season because normally when we go to a track such as this we take too much time than normal to set up the bike because these are difficult tracks, plus, we’ve not been here with this new engine and this new bike so everything is not easy for us when we start at a ‘new track’. We started Friday with a few problems on the bike but we’ve worked and improved most of them so by the end we finished less than one second from the front row, so, this means we are not bad at a long track like this. We have some work to do tonight but I think we have done a good job today.”