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Following a successful #motogp test six days ago at Le Mans in France, the Red Bull KTM #motogp Factory team had new engines delivered from KTM's Austrian base for the #jerez GP, taking Bradley Smith to 14th come the chequered flag in Sunday's Spanish #motogp race. His Spanish team mate Pol Espargaro made a brilliant start off the line on the KTM RC16 to be 11th before an unlucky crash took him out of the race. It was a fast crash, but he was OK and returned to the garage unhurt. The race took place in front of 69,000 fans that included the former King of Spain. A total of 129,890 fans attended the race track over three days.
Smith: "It's been solid weekend for us as from Friday we made a good start in both the damp and dry conditions, but added to that was a positive Saturday with a great time in the morning that nearly got us through to Q2. Qualifying was solid but it was tricky in the race today as we'd never run with these kind of track temperatures with a hard front tyre, so it's still a learning process. With hindsight, we could have changed some things but that's what we learn as a team with this project...but what a step forward from the first three races and a great step to again look forward to at the next race at Le Mans. We have a chance to test tomorrow and get some more data under our belt so that's great."
Espargaro: "I tried too much! I had a good chance to be inside the top ten today but you have to try to see if you can be there because we have the tools here at #jerez after the work that the KTM Factory #racing team has done with the engine. I was trying to reward them, give them some points and a position to be happy with, but I tried a bit too hard...but this is #racing. KTM want to be inside the top 10, as I do too, but occasionally a small mistake happens."
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): "This weekend has been very positive for us. All the effort from the company for us to utilise this new engine is proof of the hard work from everyone at the factory. We showed clearly during the practice sessions this was a good move and this gave us confidence and strength for the race. At the start of the race it was tricky; the conditions were windy but Pol was in a good position to fight, but he maybe over- pushed a little, but this is #racing and I have full respect for this. Bradley scored two points with a good race. We should be happy to score these points here taking the positive because a crash can happen to anyone during a race weekend."
In the fourth Moto2 race for KTM's new-for-2017 bike, Portugal's Miguel Oliveira was again on the podium with third to now put him second in the Moto2 World Championship standings. It was a fantastic result for the race closest to his home country. Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 test rider Ricard Cardus was 14th on the KTM Moto2 bike in his second race standing in for KTM's reigning Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder.
Oliveira: "After the bad start I made, finishing on the podium is a good result. We cut the gap distance from the start of the race to the end. I’m happy; we have details to improve, but we are working hard on that. After the tests we did here in November, I didn’t think that I could get onto the podium today, so we have taken great strides forward. I did not expect it, and it's a fairly critical circuit for the tyres, because it's always very hot and it's not easy to finish the race. I still lack the calmness to lead a race, but I’m sure the victory will come if we continue to work like this."
Moto3 produced the closest race of the day with the first five bikes over the finish line within one second; Spain's Marco Ramirez lead the race on his KTM RC250 GP for some laps but was ultimately was just 0.2 seconds off the podium in fourth. Niccolo Antonelli of Red Bull KTM Ajo was in a top 10 position only to be unable to avoid contact with another rider causing him to fall on lap one. He recovered to finish just out of the points. Former Red Bull Rookies Champion Bo Bendsneyder clinched 5 points with 11th after a weekend of frustrating set up problems.
Bendsneyder: "After the way practice and qualifying went this weekend, I reacted today. In addition, we knew we had done some very good tests here and we knew what we could do at this circuit. The results from the first two days were a little far off what we had done in the test. Yesterday we discussed it with the team and with Aki (Ajo), agreeing that we were not where we should be. But today we took a big step forward and that gives me a lot of confidence. I’m happy with 11th place and I want to thank the team for all their work; this result is for them. We had worked very hard for three races and we hadn’t been able to score points, so I want to thank the team very much."
Red Bull #motogp Rookies Cup
Aleix Viu rode a great Red Bull #motogp Rookies Cup Race 2 at #jerez, capped by a perfectly judged final corner, to hold the advantage as Filip Salač stole second from Can Öncü on the line. Saturday’s winner, Ai Ogura, was fourth ahead of fellow Japanese Kazuki Masaki in a blanket finish of five KTM RC 250 RBs.
“I am very happy with that,” beamed Viu. “That last lap was a big fight, Can came past and I had to overtake him again. Coming to the last corner I thought Can or Filip might come down the inside but I just braked very very late and they couldn’t. I have to thank my mechanics and all my supporters because now I am leading the points and I just can’t wait to get to the next race.”
Next Race: May 21, 2017 – Le Mans (FRA)
Results Race #motogp Circuito de #jerez 2017
1. Dani Pedrosa (ESP), Honda, 45:26.827 min (27 laps)
2. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda, +6.136 sec
3. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP), Ducati, +14.767
4. Johann Zarco (FRA), Yamaha, +17.601
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati, +22.913
14. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, +47.964
DNF Pol Espargaro (ESP), KTM, +22 laps
Standings #motogp 2017 after 4 of 18 races
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha, 62 points
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha, 60
3. Marquez, 58
4. Pedrosa, 52
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati, 41
21. Smith, 3
22. Espargaro, 2
Results Race Moto2 Circuito de #jerez 2017
1. Alex Marquez (ESP), Kalex, 43:24.350 min (25 laps)
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Kalex, +3.442
3. Miguel Oliveira (POR), KTM, +4.958
4. Mattia Pasini (ITA), Kalex, +6.824
5. Luca Marini (ITA), Kalex, +6.917
14. Ricard Cardus (ESP), KTM, +26.049
DNS Brad Binder (RSA), KTM
Standings Moto2 2017 after 4 of 18 races
1. Franco Morbidelli (ITA), Kalex, 75 points
2. Tom Luthi (SUI), Kalex, 64
3. Oliveira, 59
4. Marquez, 49
5. Bagnaia, 33
19 Binder, 7
23. Cardus, 4
Results Race Moto3 Circuito de Jerez 2017
1. Aron Canet (ESP), Honda, +41:25.706 min (23 laps)
2. Romano Fenati (ITA), Honda, +0.031 sec
3. Joan Mir (ESP), Honda, +0.155
4. Marcos Ramirez (ESP), KTM, +0.358
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA), Honda, +0.946
6. Andrea Migno (ITA), KTM +1.162
7. Nicolo Bulega (ITA), KTM, +1.417
10. Juanfran Guevara (ESP), KTM, +2.000
11. Bo Bendsneyder (NED), KTM, +7.431
22. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), KTM, +37.799
Standings Moto3 2017 after 4 of 18 races
1. Mir, 74 points
2. Fenati, 65
3. Jorge Martin (ESP), Honda, 59
3. John Mcphee (GBR), Honda, 49
5. Canet, 43
7. Migno, 35
8. Ramirez, 23
9. Guevara, 23
10. Bulega, 22
15. Antonelli, 11
22. Bendsneyder, 5
Results Race 2 Red Bull #motogp Rookies Cup Circuito de #jerez 2017
All riders on KTM RC250 RB bikes
1. Aleix Viu (ESP), 29:56.777 min
2. Filip Salac (CZE), +0.122
3. Can Öncü (TUR), +0.173
4. Ai Ogura (JAP), +0.183
5. Kazuki Masaki (JAP), +0.260
Standings Red Bull #motogp Rookies Cup 2017 after 2 of 13 races
1. Viu, 36 points
2. Salac, 33
3. Ogura, 33
4. Masaki, 27
5. Rory Skinner (GBR), 25
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