MotoGP points’ leader Fabio Quartararo says KTM could be establish itself a genuine threat in the 2020 World Championship if it capitalises on the next four races held on the Red Bull Ring and in Misano, where it tests extensively.

KTM returns to its home Austrian MotoGP round – the first of two back-to-back events to be held at the Red Bull Ring – on a wave of glory after breaking its victory duck in Brno following an inspired performance by its rookie Brad Binder.

While the Czech circuit certainly suits the KTM, arguably the following four races in Austria – plus a double-header at Misano after that – plays right into the team’s hands too. This is because it regularly performs around both with a sizeable development team, its cause in 2020 no doubt set to be helped by the concessions it will likely lose next year as a result of that win.


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With this in mind, Quartararo – when asked whether he felt Binder or Pol Espagararo could emerge as outside title contenders – says they cannot be discounted at all.

“Yes [KTM are contenders], but not only from Brad’s win,” the Frenchman said. “Also in Jerez they were fast and then they had some tests here in Austria and now we have two races so I think the bike is going really well and the next four races they already have some laps with the new bike and I think the potential of the riders is really high, I think they can fight for a good position in the championship and the next races.”

Though a seventh position in Brno was an abrupt slowing of the momentum he gathered with two wins in Jerez, Quartararo still left the Czech Republic with a larger lead, now 17 points clear of Maverick Vinales.

Despite the indifferent result on paper, the Petronas SRT Yamaha rider was in fact very pleased with the outcome given the sheer difficulties he faces with the tyres.

“I was surprised because on the Friday we had a difficult moment with the bike but in FP4 I had a really great feeling with the medium tyre, but as soon as we start the race I had a small moment into Turn 3 and then I was pushing but in a different way to make the lap time.

“In the end it was so difficult to manage, I lost way too much on the front, the rear tyre was destroyed from the beginning so I couldn’t do anything.

“The most important thing was to finish to race because it was already tough to ride in those conditions so we can say that P7 in this kind of race – one of toughest I have had – was a great result.”