Espargaro impressed by KTM RC16 at Qatar test

KTM pilot seventh on the timesheets in MotoGP testing.

Image: Supplied.

Pol Espargaro has departed the MotoGP World Championship test at Losail International Circuit in Qatar impressed by the potential of his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16.

The Spaniard laid down the seventh fastest lap-time on day three of testing, marking a significant improvement over previous results in the pre-season tests.

Half a second off pace-setter Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Espargaro is optimistic the squad can ‘think big’ ahead of the season-opener, scheduled for 10 March at the Losail venue.

“I’m impressed by the potential of our bike and what we have done here,” said Espargaro. “This is normally a track where we have struggled the last two years but to see us just half a second away is great. We did a good job, a good lap and a good rhythm. The conditions can change for the race but we can take a positive feeling from this test and have a good target for the GP.

“We still need to work carefully and concentrate on what we are doing. The conditions at the end were tough with the humidity going up and the temperatures dropping. There were a lot of crashes. Anyway, I think we can think big, and we have to do the best we can in the race but also be safe to not lose those first points of the season.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing newcomer Johann Zarco is still facing difficulties in adapting to the Austrian machine, winding up 22nd on the timesheets after day three.


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