KTM on matching Ducati: ‘We’re a step ahead’ of last year, but is it enough’?

KTM Team Manager Francesco Guidotti admits KTM are in a much better place compared to last season, ‘but is it enough’.

Brad Binder, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February
Brad Binder, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February

KTM were very strong during the Sepang MotoGP test before Aprilia seemed to jump ahead of the Austrian brand.

Ducati are the clear favourites to repeat as champions in 2024, as was highlighted by Francesco Bagnaia setting new lap records en route to topping both tests. 

Ducati riders dominated the top ten positions but KTM in the hands of Brad Binder and Pedro Acosta especially, showed potential.

Clearly much improved compared to the 2023 pre-season Guidotti told MotoGP.com: “We’re pretty happy about the improvements of our bike in general. The riders comments; they haven’t complained about all areas where we changed something. 

“Compared to the last race and the last winter test we are clearly a step ahead. But we are not sure if it is enough. 

“Looking at the lap times everywhere we have been, it has been a second faster. Let’s see where we are at the first race. 

“This is one of the circuits where it’s not one of the strongest for us. But the first race is here and we need to keep pushing.”

KTM are expecting to challenge Ducati more consistently throughout the 2024 campaign, with Brad Binder likely to be their main title threat.

But Guidotti remains unsure how competitive they can be: “Difficult to see. With all the riders at this level and the bikes improving it is difficult to make a prediction. 

“We have to take it race-by-race and the first one will be difficult to make any prediction. It is different to have eight hours of riding time and 45 minutes to fix and set-up the bike. 

“We know that race weekends are different and riders can make a difference.

We have to analyse a little bit better because in these days we focused on our job.

“But we have to look at the contenders and we have some time to understand everything a bit better and to be ready.”

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