KTM MotoGP outfit’s manager Mike Leitner told that he expected the Austrian manufacturer to be off the pace more than in current state at the midway point of its first full season in the premier class. Following nine races in the top-flight, KTM riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith stand at 20th and 21st in the championship.
They scored 14 and 8 points respectively. Espargaro scored the marque’s best result of the season when he ended up 11th at the Sachsenring race while Smith’s best result was a 13th at Le Mans in France. Leitner told that in dry conditions his team was 1.2 seconds slower than the first riders during qualifying and in the race.
Considering that the brand has no MotoGP experience in the premier class before, he is more pleased with the results. He admitted not having any data from the previous years for reference and that KTM arrived at some tracks with barely any information. He expected them to be two seconds slower than the fastest ones at this point in time.
Despite KTM CEO Stefan Pierer announced earlier that his firm is only racing in MotoGP to win, Leitner said that they are well-aware of the tasks ahead that are hoped to reap benefits. But, Dani Pedrosa’s former crew chief re-emphasised that KTM’s record in rally-raid and Supercross stands in testament to the winning capability eventually in MotoGP.