As the half way point of 2017 season approaches, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team took their best ever MotoGP finish today in Assen, Holland after a dramatic race where mixed conditions and bravery were the order of the day resulting in Spaniard Pol Espargaro clinching 11th place as the team chips away step by step at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.
The race started under grey skies that turned to drizzle and light rain nearly half way though, leading to some riders entering the pits and change motorcycles for ones with wet tyres. However, the crossover point of the wet tyres to be an advantage never happened so Espargaro, who didn’t stop, bravely threaded his way over a slightly damp track on slick tyres to gain the best points scoop so far for the Austrian manufacturer.
The KTM RC16 motorcycles had further development after the last race in Barcelona following a three day test in Spain resulting in data and hardware applied even if wet weather thwarted further confirmation of those tests at Assen. Now the team’s focus is already upon the German Grand Prix weekend at the Sachsenring in seven days time, the fourth race in five weeks.
“It was a typical Assen race as after ten laps some rain spots came down, but at the start in the dry I felt quite alright as we were about a second a lap off the top guys so it’s the best race we’ve done in dry conditions…so maybe we were going to finish about 35 seconds back (if it was dry to the end). This is important and very positive for us so I’m pretty happy, but we still need to continue working on the problems we know we have over the next races and tests. Overall though, it’s great to get KTM’s best MotoGP result, something I am very proud of as the guys here at the track and in Austria are working so hard.”
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