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MotoGP Spain: ‘Quality over quantity’ for KTM at Jerez test

Bradley Smith runs just 46 laps at Jerez test to preserve new engine; on Monday works on improving RC16's braking ahead of Le Mans.
A day after scoring two world championship points, Bradley Smith posted 46 laps at the post-race test at Jerez, in a bid to collect more information for KTM's MotoGP project.

Smith was limited in terms of track time as KTM aimed to preserve the new engine configuration that he and team-mate Pol Espargaro raced for the first time on Sunday.

The Englishman ended the test in 17th, 1.4s back of Maverick Viñales' quickest time, as he sampled different settings with the upcoming race at Le Mans in mind, which were aimed at improving the RC16 under heavy braking.

“I honestly can't complain,” said Smith. “We decided not to do to many laps today, mainly because we have to look after what we have today and when you're in the development stage parts are hard to come by so we decided to do all that we needed to.

“Like I said quality over quantity, and just try to figure out a little bit things that we couldn't try over the weekends with this new engine and then moving forward giving the guys directions in terms of what's the next idea of what to design.

“[We will take] full advantage of Mika being on the other side of the garage continuing a few developments over on that side, Pol following a different programme and me a different one so the good thing at the end of today is that we have such a wide range of information.

“You know, we're all trying different things and hopefully the team can bring that all together. 150 laps between us or something but from three different people so that helps us give a good direction for the future.

“The boys are on to it, I think in terms of our general bike we have the best one we have at the moment and if we are going to move forward it's going to be a few new parts in the coming races to try and bring that forward."

Having decided the new engine update, which is believed to feature a 'big-bang' configuration, has much better potential than what he raced before Jerez, Smith saw no reason to test the two motors back-to-back.

“I didn't, I don't know if any of the other guys did but I didn't I just kept on running what I had, mainly because I'm quite a fan of this new one so I wanted to continue in this direction rather than confusing anything with back to backs.

“I was pleased with how the weekend went, pleased with how the race went yesterday with the next engine and I wanted to follow in that way. So yeah all in all pretty good.”

Commenting on Michelin's stiffer front tyre construction, brought to the test for riders to clarify the direction it has taken, he added, “I think [I did] one run on it. It definitely is solving some of the issues that this other tyre has.

“But one tyre you can break deeper, which is the one from Valencia, and then the other tyre you can carry a bit more corner speed because the edge grip's a bit better which is the one from now.

“In general we know where we are but with these bikes keeping on developing and moving forwards I think everyone will go back to the older style just because the mix between compound and casing and construction a bit better.

“At the moment there's a bit of a mix with the current one it's almost too soft so we're trying to put a stick of compound on top of it and it's just not working. So go back with a stiffer construction and then go back with a softer compound should be better.”

Tagged as: Smith , Espargaro

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May 10, 2017 1:43 PM

@smiler: if what you mean is a rider who could pulls something good out of a crappy bike then my vote would definitely goes to Aleix Espargaro.. yes Smith looks like a guy who knows his bike very well n thanks to his native language he could explain to us much better about it, but Aleix really knows what it takes from the bike to make him n his ride going faster.

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