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."

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