The Austrians aim to win, and won’t settle for anything less. These sentiments were made perfectly clear at the launch of the Red Bull KTM Factory MotoGP Team a couple of days ago. Indeed, the Red Bull motorsport manager wants a MotoGP World title “very soon.” Nevertheless, the team is acknowledging that 2017 will be a learning/development year without any possibility for a title.
Coming off another victory at the Dakar Rally, KTM has a habit of winning races and titles both on-road and off. KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer stated the company’s approach to racing: “KTM is there to fight for the win and the World Championship as in every project we start – be it Rally Dakar, MotoCross, SuperCross in America, Moto3 – and so on.” Pierer also branded Honda KTM’s “most hated competitor,” and alleged Honda has attempted to cheat at racing in the past. The fangs have come out! Here are quotes from the KTM MotoGP riders:
Pol Espargaro: “Right now the bull is a little bit wild, but it feels really good. KTM is really new to MotoGP compared to other brands and we’re making huge steps. Every time we jump on the bike we get closer and it’s beautiful to see the evolution. I want to thank KTM for trusting me, and for this project.”
Bradley Smith: “There’s a lot of pressure. It’s something that you’ve always wished for and worked for throughout your career but when you finally get that opportunity there’s the pressure that comes with it. But I embrace the opportunity that I have and both me and Pol – and the team – will be working extremely hard. We’ve been busy so far already in the winter tests and the work won’t stop. It’s just the beginning and I’m excited to see what 2017 brings.”
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