US News No KTM in the top 10: Espargaro and Oliveira crash, Binder only "passenger"
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The MotoGP race in Barcelona was disappointing for KTM: Two pilots crash while in the top 10, Brad Binder saved himself on destroyed tires in eleventh place Goal, for the first time in this MotoGP season, no KTM rider made it into the top 10. This was mainly due to two falls: Pol Espargaro went down six laps while attempting to overtake Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira took off his KTM before the end.
Both were in the top 10 at the time of the crashes. But Espargaro admits: "Even without the crash, we wouldn't have been able to do so much. Perhaps we would have ended up in seventh place ahead of Petrux. With these cool temperatures, there was a lack of confidence in the front wheel we still had in the afternoon training sessions at the weekend. "
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"On Sunday there was no sun, the temperatures were lower and we suffered the most from it. We had to use the medium front tire, but there was no one hundred percent feeling for it," explains the Spaniard.Espargaro: Moto2 rubber abrasion is a problem
All KTM drivers relied on the medium-hard compound at the front, which remained an exception in the Barcelona race because the majority rode the soft front tire. But KTM traditionally often goes a step harder than the competition on the front wheel because it gives them greater stability in the corners.
KTM loose their leading challenger!- MotoGP (@MotoGP) tumbles at Turn 1! In Barcelona this only worked to a limited extent, given the cool temperatures. Espargaro also notes: "Every time we hit the track after a Moto2 race, the Dunlop rubber changes the grip level and we get problems. It always feels totally different than in practice."
"It's more slippery and the bike is more difficult to stop. So there is always this drop on Sunday. So far this has only been the case in Brno and Spielberg," says the KTM rider and gets approval from team-mate Brad Binder: " The lines, the braking points, your feeling for the front wheel change. "
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Cooler Front Tire: That's Why Oliveira
Crashed Still, Espargaro tried to fight Petrucci in the race. In turn 1, however, he overdid it and braked far too late. "I took a corner a little too quickly and slipped over the front wheel. It was entirely my fault," he says.
Oliveira also fell without outside interference. A cold front tire was to blame for him: "The temperatures were quite low, so one lap without a slipstream was enough to let the front tire cool down completely. When I pulled over to the left at Turn 2, I couldn't save the crash. It is a shame. "
Brad Binder struggled with Miguel Oliveira for a while until he fell too
Photo: Motorsport ImagesBinder, who was right behind Oliveira when he went down without warning, admits: “That was also my biggest concern. When the rear tire was wearing out, I couldn't push the front tire enough to keep the temperature high. For the last eight laps I only felt like a passenger.” Tires at the end: Binder drove like it was in the rain
"My rear tire was already at the end with ten laps to go," explains the MotoGP rookie. "The last ten laps for me was about survival, the last four or five laps felt like the rain. It was really tough. But it was a good learning experience." In the end, Binder crossed the finish line in eleventh place.
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When asked about the medium front tire, he explains: "I felt comfortable with it. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to get temperature in, but then it went well. The problem with the medium rear tire was that it was difficult to get into into the correct working window or stop there. "
That's why the KTM riders, like the rest of the field, opted for the softest mixture on the rear wheel - even if they knew that it would eventually deteriorate significantly. The tire problem was a headache for all drivers at the Barcelona weekend. Adjusttire contingent: KTM vetoed
Michelin had arrived with the allocation that was actually intended for the original race date in June. There had been reservations in advance. As Alex Marquez (Honda) revealed, some drivers in the safety committee suggested adjusting the tire quota. But KTM was against it.
Espargaro explains: "The truth is that a Ducati rider in the safety commission asked for an additional soft front tire. But there should be one less medium front tire. Of course we said no."
"But even if we had agreed, Michelin would have said no," adds the KTM driver. "Because they would not have been able to provide everyone with an additional soft front tire." For the upcoming races, where similarly cool temperatures are expected, Michelin will probably have to upgrade.
Further co-authors: Gerald Dirnbeck, Mark Bremer. With images from Motorsport Images.
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