KTM Set to Pose a Threat in MotoGP this Season

New KTM boy on the block Bradley Smith has taken the Austrian Manufacturer’s new chassis out for a spin, and it’s good news all ‘round.

Bradley Smith, motorcycle racer extraordinaire and fellow commonwealth resident has taken a stab at Sepang atop KTM’s 2017 designated chassis. Smith was quick to laud the developments the team has made over the winter break as he took a moment after testing to reflect over the tweaks:

“I felt that we made some clear improvements with the bike and myself and Pol worked in a similar direction today. With the same bike we’re doing a similar lap time, which obviously helps with development. There are things we need to improve, but there are other things I’ve seen compared to other riders and other manufacturers that we’re actually really strong at.”

– Bradley Smith

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - JANUARY 30: Bradley Smith of Great Britain and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing speaks with mechanic in box during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on January 30, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – JANUARY 30: Bradley Smith of Great Britain and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing speaks with mechanic in box during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on January 30, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Smith and teammate Pol Espargaro finished their Sepang tests out with a divergence on lap times on only one of the test days. They set identical lap times of 2m01.338s on the first and last days. Smith and Espargaro are sure to have their work cut out for them in the season ahead. With a determined group of fellows at Yamaha and Ducati out to claim dominion, Smith will have to hold on to that feeling of good faith into the start of the season. Though if his recent comments are indicative of anything, he won’t have any trouble:

“I think we can take a lot of positives from the work that we’ve done, to only be 1.9 seconds off the fastest guy here, at Sepang – one of the longest tracks and our first test of 2017 – I think KTM’s done a great job.”

– Bradley Smith

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 01: Pol Espargaro of Spain and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rounds the bend during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on February 1, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – FEBRUARY 01: Pol Espargaro of Spain and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rounds the bend during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on February 1, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

For both Bradley’s sake and that of the sport, I do hope that KTM is capable of mounting a substantial offense against the recurring big winners – F1 this isn’t, and the more dynamic racing we get to watch the better.