And that’s a wrap for the 2020 pre-season test! Riders will be taking a rest before turning to action at Sepang in February.
The Jerez 2020 pre-season test has been garnering the spotlight all week and it has come to an end yesterday in a rainy session. Red Bull KTM riders managed to take on the damp and cool Jerez circuit to complete their third year of MotoGP action.
Wet conditions graced the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia and both Red Bull KTM and Red Bull KTM Tech3 were able to achieve some good laps on the first day. Pol Espargaro maintained a steady position within the top ten of the fastest times. Brad Binder, on the other hand, took advantage of both the dry and wet conditions to adapt to his MotoGP race bike. Rookie Iker Lecuona suffered a crash on Monday but continued to gather information throughout the entire session. As for Dani Pedrosa, the rider missed Monday due to an illness but ran some laps on Tuesday.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM)- As It Happened
“The last test of 2019 and we were not so lucky with the weather which means we could not work as much as we wanted. Fortunately, we did some laps this morning when we felt quite good and we were just three tenths away from the top guy with ten laps on the tyre, which was important for consistency. Overall the pre-season has been very good. We did a lot and tested a lot of new stuff at Valencia and we have been fast. Now it’s time for the winter and after healing a little bit I will try to work harder than I did last year to try and come back in better shape. I’m already looking forward to trying the 2020 RC16 again in Malaysia,” says Espargaro as quoted from KTM Factory Racing.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM)- As It Happened
“We decided to do a couple of laps when it was a little bit wet just to get the feeling of the new bike and that was really awesome. I’m glad I got a chance to experience that. It’s been difficult these last two tests. It hasn’t been easy to adapt to the new bike but I think I’ve got a lot to think about now in the off-season and hopefully, we can try to make a step in Sepang. I think I just need to improve my riding; my feeling with the front a little bit and just being able to have the confidence to put the bike where I want to, especially on the entry to corners. I think once I get that right the rest will fall into place.”
Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3)- As It Happened
“It was my first time in wet conditions and to be honest it was quite strange. I need more laps but finally, I went quite fast. I liked the feeling, although I didn’t find the limit at every point. I’m happy, but not too much in some sectors. For next year, I know I need to work on my riding, on the brakes and picking up the bike but finally in the wet, it all went quite well and in general, I’m very happy.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager- As It Happened
“Our wish was for two full days of testing but we know at this time of year the weather can be difficult. Actually, we were still able to confirm a lot of things we tried in Valencia. Generally, we are happy and we can send our riders into the winter break fit – which is very important – and the technical summaries we made were also good.”
“Pol worked further on a 2020 direction and we saw today, especially in the wet, that Brad is starting to get the feel for the MotoGP bike. It was nice to see. Pol worked well and found positive points of the new material but we are still not at the point where we can say ‘everything is fixed’, we have to go to Sepang and work hard there but the important information has come across and we can plan for Malaysia and Qatar. We’ll go home and reload the batteries a little bit and then keep pushing for next February.”
Sebastian Risse, Technical Director MotoGP- As It Happened
“In Valencia, we introduced next year’s package and we mainly focussed on this here with Pol and Dani in terms of the changes, the strong points and generally how it rates. We also had some more engine development going on with different specs, and we understood how this can work on different tracks and how it can be a universal package for next year.”
“There were also some ‘aero’ ideas that were not ready for Valencia but we could try it here and we got some good data: we are going into the winter thinking about we will put it together. We’ll also need to think carefully about logistics because we will have four riders on factory bikes next year so it will be quite a challenge in the next month. We leave here quite happy even if the weather was not that great today and stopped us a little bit.”