Pol Espargaro described his mood as ‘super happy’ after claiming KTM’s best ever qualifying position in MotoGP but has set his sights on following that up with a similar result in Sunday’s race.

The younger Espargaro brother put the RC16 on the second row of the grid thanks to posting the sixth best time in Saturday’s Q2 session.

The result, Espargaro said, was just reward for the efforts of everyone involved in the factory effort this year.

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“When I finished I was checking the list, and to see the list and see Yamaha, Honda, KTM, Yamaha, Honda, KTM, it looks super strange, and I'm super pleased with that, because the guys have done an amazing job all this year," he said.

“But it's in small moments like this one that you show the potential of the bike and it's like a way of saying thanks to the guys that are in the factory and the guys working in the pit box, because they are doing more hours than anybody else in this paddock and they are working double of what everyone else does to try to arrive where they are.

“So I'm super happy. For sure this was a small trophy but the big one is tomorrow, so tomorrow is the race, we need to check what we can do tomorrow morning with the weather, with the tyres, and see where we can arrive. But already I think we have a win this weekend. It's a small win, but it's a win for us.”

So where is the RC16 making time around the Phillip Island track? “This bike has improved so much in the change of direction and entering into the corners,” said Espargaro. “Even at the beginning it was good. But we saw that the top speed is huge, faster even than Ducatis, this is amazing.

“Also braking into the first corner, in T1, the bike feels really really nice. Yes, we are struggling a bit in T4, but what we lose in T4 we are gaining in T1. The bike is amazing entering the corners, the first corner, the second corner.

“There are a lot of corners here that are so fast, you need to put the bike in with a lot of confidence, and we are able to do that with the KTM, and I'm really pleased with that.”

On his hopes for tomorrow’s race, Espargaro added, “The only problem is after 10, 15 laps when the electronics start to work, we struggle a little bit more than other factories because our experience is low, this is for sure. Also we need to check which tyre we are going to use tomorrow, sure the warm up is going to be crucial for us.

“Also what the other brands choose for the race is also going to be important to know what we can do. So it's going to depend a lot on the tyre, and beginning of the race and how we are able to keep the tyre fresh to the end. So it's going to be a difficult race tomorrow, we will see the conditions when we wake up tomorrow and we will see. It's going to be nice.”

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Good for KTM they have 1 real rider in ESP. Perhaps BS is still there for being a brit. Seems like Kalio has as many points with just 3 outings.

Never got this passport stuff since the big fag money dried up next year there's one less Spaniard, Frenchman and Brit.