Breaking the silnce in MotoGP’s shutdown period, KTM held a two-day private test at the Red Bull Ring facility in order to re-familiarize itself for the first grand prix in the 2020 season.
KTM’s MotoGP outfit has become the first team in the motorcycle racing’s premier class to hit the track since the cancelled Qatar Grand Prix. The race at Doha that was scheduled for March 8 was called off in the last minute before the MotoGP field was set to leave for the season-opening race. With the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the season has been put on hold since.
The Austrian manufacturer held a private test behind closed doors at the Red Bull Ring. The session was attended by Pol Espargaro and test rider Dani Pedrosa while the factory team’s rookie rider Brad Binder has been forced to skip the test due to the travel restrictions in his home country South Africa.
KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer has revealed that it has been a big relief and satisfaction to see the team’s 2020 machine, the RC16 in action following a long time away from the race tracks.
„Seeing the bikes on the racetrack - where they belong - was great for all of us. It was a pleasure to see the happy faces of the riders and the crew but then it was back to work and back to normal.
"We tried to make the most of the time at the Red Bull Ring. With Pol we were able to check his 2020 bike on a new track and with Dani we ran a very extensive test program. But the most important thing was also the significance: we are making great strides. There is definitely an interesting Grand Prix calendar ahead of us and it is time to prepare our team for it.
MotoGP has announced the introdcution of a package of cost-cutting measures in order to promote the financial well-being of the sport’s participants. Beirer thinks that all the changes to the technical and sporting regulations have been necessary.
"In the past weeks and months we had been very radical with our response to the virus situation through the closure of our motorsport department, but I promised the team that we would be the first to go out again. We were finally able to keep that promise here at the Red Bull Ring,” he concluded.
KTM is planning to arrange a second test session with the attendence of all four riders – Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder will be in action for the works teams while Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona will test for Tech3.