Red Bull KTM riders will be heading to Sepang, Malaysia.
Things have been going swell in Phillip Island, Australia this weekend although the Moto2 proceedings began fervently on Sunday as Q1 and Q2 qualification sessions from Saturday were postponed. The Red Bull KTM riders then occupied their slots on the grid accordingly with Pol Espargaro in 17th, Mika Kallio 18th, and Hafizh Syahrin in 20th.
Miguel Oliveira is deemed unfit to ride after his fast crash in FP4 Saturday afternoon. He will be undergoing an MRI scan on a bruised and swollen left hand and right wrist.
The MotoGP race will now be heading to the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM)- As It Happened
“It was a complicated weekend. We struggled for grip and traction. In 2017 we were much faster but we had a lot of problems here last year and again this weekend. I think part of it is down to the weather and all the changes we have to make to the bike. Anyway, we need to look at the bigger picture and the whole season has been much better. We cannot explain this one track. But I think this is part of developing a bike and making it better for every circuit. We will reset in Malaysia. In the worst conditions, we took four points and were fourteen seconds from the podium – which is not good – but not horrible. After a difficult weekend, we’ll take this,” says Espargaro as quoted from KTM Factory Racing.
Hafizh Syahrin (Red Bull KTM)- As It Happened
“I had a really good race. In the beginning, I needed some time to find a good feeling with the hard tyre but after a few laps, I started to find a rhythm. Behind Kallio, I couldn’t find a slipstream, so I needed to catch him in the corner and finally, I passed him, in turn, one of the brakes and I tried to pass Abraham. Unfortunately, on the last lap it was impossible for me. In the end, one point is better than nothing. We know that we need to be stronger at the beginning of the race.”
Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM)- As It Happened
“We were thinking before the race ‘soft or hard’ tyre and believed the temperature was improving so we chose the hard. I saw after a few laps that the race would be very difficult. There was no grip at all. I managed to do a few fast laps but then the grip was completely gone. Then I was spinning and spinning off the corners. In the end, there was no rubber at all on the rear and because of that I also pushed and destroyed the left side of the front tyre! This weekend is something we need to forget and think about Malaysia. We had a lot more data from there, like everybody else, and I have been there many times with the MotoGP bike with KTM. I think it will be easier for us.”
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM)- As It Happened
“The reason I was unfit today was the swelling on my left hand and the pain on the right wrist. I could not squeeze with power and therefore not grab the handlebars. Speaking with the doctors in the medical centre they saw it was maybe better to do an MRI today to check if there are any ligament damages on the right wrist. So this is what I’m going to do. I will fly to Malaysia on Monday afternoon and as soon as I land, I should already have the reports. Fingers crossed, that everything goes well! My only wish is to ride and hopefully, everything will turn out in the best possible way.”
Mike Leitner- Red Bull KTM Team Manager
“This weekend was really tough for everybody but we had a problem finding a good setting for the race through the different weather conditions. It was horrible seeing some of the crashes on Saturday. We hope Miguel will be OK after his check in the hospital on his hand. Mika was struggling with rear grip, as were many riders and with other manufacturers. Pol took 12th and it’s a result that we’re not too happy about anymore, we know we can be further forward. We were eleven seconds from the podium and we have to keep realistic but it was a difficult race and we expected more from our visit to Phillip Island.”