KTM Confirms Rider Lineup For 2018 season
KTM Confirms Rider Lineup For 2018: Bradley Smith can finally sleep easily after KTM verified it will not tinker with its current rider line-up for the 2018 MotoGP season.The Englishman will continue in his position since Pol Espargaro’s team-mate in the Austrian mill’s two riders attack in 2018, KTM’s second in the premier class within an official factory entry.
The announcement implies Mika Kallio will stay on as the mill test rider, a position he’s occupied for the past two decades, and will competition “selected wildcard rides” throughout the year.
Though Smith is in the first of a two-year deal with KTM, doubts were cast after Kallio’s impressive excursions.On The two occasions the Finn placed well ahead of Smith, leading factory bosses to modify his team chief (Tom Jojic was out, Esteban Garcia, formerly working with Kallio, arrived) for the British Grand Prix, also call for an improvement in his results.
Rumours abounded linking Kallio for ’18, together with the Finn making no secret of his desire to go back to racing.
“First of all, I had these 2 races Germany and Austria and after Austria, we thought we could also come here,” he explained. “Now that we did it, therefore I believe that is the final one for this season. Hopefully next year we can do something more.”
KTM Confirms Rider Lineup For 2018: Nevertheless, the Austrian mill has ended the near relentless speculation surrounding its rider line-up for ’18, with a factory statement reading, “KTM has affirmed Bradley Smith from the very first test about the KTM RC16MotoGP bike in Valencia 2016.
“He has fitted into the group well and has worked hard at every evaluation, practice, and race as a brand new bike is developed with new parts coming to the garage for every race. The team wants to affirm that 2018 will stay committed to Smith before as we both look forward to bettering results and lap times.
“He’s a Grand Prix winner and a podium man within the three classes of Grand Prix racing he is contested, something that KTM wish to replicate with an orange motorcycle underneath him.”
On Kallio, the announcement read, “Mika Kallio will remain as the team’s test rider for 2018 with chosen wildcard rides to the Finn. He has been a part of the MotoGP project’s advancement through his vast experience in Grand Prix which return 17 decades, knowledge that has been a main element in the job. KTM encourage so the motorcycle can jump to the next step in 2018 and beyond and look ahead to Kallio’s ongoing speed.
“His three races so far this season have been some of the most impressive to get a wildcard in recent days with his devotion and pace, something which KTM look forward to seeing again at the season closing in Valencia in a month’s period.”