KTM has done all in its power to come out screaming during its first full-time MotoGP season, but the newly-blooded boys have much more work ahead of them.
Hopping into your first full-time MotoGP season would be a trying challenge for any newcomer. The pinnacle of Motorcycle racing has more than its fair share of challenges to offer even the most experienced of teams, and yet there KTM stands, already fighting for championship points against longstanding teams.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) July 5, 2017
The team has already managed to pick up 22 championship points, tailing their newfound rivals Aprilia, with teammates Pol Espargaro and Bradley smith holding 20th and 21st in the riders’ championship. There was no shortage of naysayers when both Espargaro and Smith announced that they would be joining KTM’s maiden voyage. With such an uncertain future, it would seem that many had already written off the fledging team before they ever put rubber to the track.
Fortunately, for both KTM and the health of the sport, the Austrian manufacturer has proven that their decision to field a team full-time is paying off. And yet, the team’s work is far from over. Espargaro was the first of the KTM duo to admit that the team has ran into more trouble during their first forays into the class – but not before emphasising how these growing pains are normal:
“For sure we’ve had more bad moments than good moments, but this is normal with a project like this one, starting from zero.” – Pol Espargaro
Espargaro wasted no time in bringing everyone up to speed over the fact that although the team has had highly positive results thus far, only long hours and hard work will show them the results they yearn for:
“We have finished in this position after just half a season. We know how to improve the bike, and we’ve just started. It’s the beginning of this project and we have to be really proud of what we are doing.
We need to keep pushing, and we need to improve a little more the bike.” – Pol Espargaro
With the summer break nearly upon them, the Austrian team will have a small window to attempt some rapid-fire development – which could potentially lead to even stronger results in the second half of the 2017 season.
— Bradley Smith (@BradleySmith38) July 4, 2017
Still, one can’t help but feel a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that the incoming team has managed to eke out such a formidable first step into the championship. Should they keep this manner of performance up, there’s no telling what their future could hold in store.