Zarco coming to terms with the RC16 in KTM transition

Valencia test marks significant step in MotoGP for KTM.

Image: Supplied.

Johann Zarco has completed his first two days aboard the RC16 in his transition to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, utilising the official MotoGP test in Spain to come to terms with the new machine.

Zarco was first out on track both days, making a number of changes to feel at home aboard the Austrian manufacturer. Finding the limit with two crashes on the final day, the Frenchman wound up 21st on the timesheets.

“I wanted to improve my lap-time more today but we could not do it,” Zarco explained. “I can really feel the potential of the bike but we still need to get the speed. It was a shame to have two crashes but I didn’t have any injuries and it helped to understand things about the bike and what I might have to change with my riding style.

“Step-by step. I’m building up this adventure. We are working on corner entry feeling and to find a direction but we improved and I felt I could play with the bike. I’m already thinking about what changes I need to make. Anyway, it was pretty nice to get on that bike and something so different that I’ve discovered in MotoGP until now. Even all the colours, the suit – it was exciting.”

The test in Valencia marked a significant one for KTM, not only with Zarco’s maiden appearance, but also the transition of Tech 3 Racing to KTM machinery with riders Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira – the duo finishing 23rd and 25th at the conclusion of Wednesday. Fresh after claiming both his and KTM’s maiden MotoGP podium, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory) was 13th fastest.

MotoGP will now move further south to Jerez to continue testing on 28-29 November for the last track days before the winter break.


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