KTM's engine confused Bradley Smith in first '2017' MotoGP test

Bradley Smith says the sound of KTM's new MotoGP engine confused him during his first day of testing at Valencia

KTM's engine confused Bradley Smith in first '2017' MotoGP test

Smith joins the Austrian manufacturer as a factory rider in 2017, ending five years with the Tech3 satellite Yamaha outfit.

Following KTM's race debut as a wildcard in the Valencia Grand Prix with test rider Mika Kallio, Smith and Pol Espargaro rode the RC16 for the first time on Tuesday.

Briton Smith said he was happy with his time of 1m32.806s, to be 20th and 1.876 seconds off the pace set by Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, especially as adapting was a key part of the day.

"There was so much to take in, but I'm very, very positively surprised by how well everything feels, in terms of there are so many different things," he said.

"The engine is completely different, chassis being steel and tubular, WP [suspension], but yet the feeling is there. It feels like a bike.

"It was a case of trying as many things with the electronics as we could, try to understand the character of the engine, because it is very different.

"I think the sound confused me the most, you don't really know where you are, where the traction control system is, because it's so completely different.

"But each run got a little bit easier, I understood everything a little bit more.

"I think 1.8 off, considering this bike still hasn't done half of the amount of kilometres as anything else out there, is quite impressive."

Espargaro finished the day one place ahead of Smith and two tenths faster, having crashed at Turn 10 with just over 90 minutes remaining.

The pair have spent the last three seasons as Tech3 team-mates, and Smith says they are united on feedback at this stage, after Kallio - who raced Moto2 after leaving MotoGP at the end of 2010 - led the testing and development.

"We mainly worked on electronics today, just because mine and Pol's riding style over the last four years are quite different to Mika's," Smith said.

"We've gone more for a direction of trying to roll through corners, rather than stop-and-go like Moto2.

"I think Mika doesn't mind the bike backing in as much, sliding to the apex and then point and squirting. That's what he knows.

"The good thing is me and Pol went in a similar direction and had positive feedback from it, so that was good.

"Me and Pol seem to be working on the same things, complaining about the same things, so that's good that we're working in parallel.

"Our lap times seem to be quite similar, so all of that is a positive in my eyes."

shares
comments
Valentino Rossi crash shortened 2017 MotoGP Yamaha's debut
Previous article

Valentino Rossi crash shortened 2017 MotoGP Yamaha's debut

Next article

MotoGP testing: Maverick Vinales fastest again for Yamaha at Valencia

MotoGP testing: Maverick Vinales fastest again for Yamaha at Valencia
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve Plus

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022 Plus

The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022

OPINION: MotoGP will get its own Drive to Survive-style series in 2022, airing on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a much-needed grab at the mainstream for MotoGP, but a paradigm shift in the series highlighted by one of its leading stars must be embraced and not overshadowed by a desire to replicate DTS’s popcorn drama

MotoGP
Jan 10, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Plus

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Plus

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Eight different riders won races across an ultra-competitive 2021 MotoGP season. Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and the world championship's returning king. Autosport picks out the year's 10 best riders

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Plus

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021