KTM’s Competitive Edge Goes Beyond Sepang MotoGP Times

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KTM in better shape than what Sepang MotoGP times suggest

KTM’s presence in Malaysia during the commencement of the new MotoGP season was rather subdued as Ducati stole the spotlight with a remarkable display of record-breaking lap times over the course of the three-day test.

Brad Binder found himself unable to challenge either the factory or satellite Desmosedici riders, settling for a distant seventh on the timesheets by Friday, his best effort clocking in at 1m57.365s, trailing reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia by six-tenths.

Despite the less-than-stellar performance on paper, Binder remains optimistic about KTM’s progress, feeling that the test results didn’t accurately depict their competitive potential. He expressed satisfaction with the strides made with the RC16’s developments, emphasizing the positive aspects gleaned from the extensive testing.

KTM's Competitive Edge Goes Beyond Sepang MotoGP Times
KTM’s Competitive Edge Goes Beyond Sepang MotoGP Times (Credits: Motorsport)

“It was a productive final day and an overall solid test,” Binder reflected. “We experimented with numerous adjustments, gradually narrowing down what worked best.

By the afternoon, we began to see a clearer direction for the future. Despite appearances on the timesheets, I believe we have untapped potential waiting to be unleashed once everything aligns.”

Meanwhile, Binder’s teammate Jack Miller found himself further down the rankings, securing the 14th spot with a time of 1m57.851s as he geared up for his second campaign with KTM.

Despite improvements over the winter, Miller acknowledged the need for further enhancements to extract maximum performance from the bike ahead of the upcoming season opener in Qatar.

“The bike’s handling has definitely improved,” Miller remarked. “However, there’s still work to be done to bridge the gap to the frontrunners. I feel more confident compared to last year, but there’s room for improvement before we hit the track for the first race.”

Miller’s confidence was somewhat tempered by unsettling moments on the track attributed to a lack of rear grip, a challenge he attributed to electronics not functioning as intended.

“The issue with rear grip, particularly evident during time attacks, led to numerous highside scares,” Miller explained. “It’s a complex interplay of factors, with electronics playing a significant role. Despite the setbacks, we’re determined to address these issues and be fully prepared for the challenges ahead.”

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