MotoGP: KTM confirms both Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro for 2018

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team has confirmed that both their current riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will continue their MotoGP efforts in 2018.

Both riders including their test rider Mika Kallio will continue to develop their KTM RC16 MotoGP machinery to be more competitive come next season.

The best result that they had so far was with Mika Kallio as a wildcard entry during the Austrian GP where he finished in the top ten.

KTM has released a press release regarding the future of their current MotoGP riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. They have confirmed that both riders will continue their MotoGP efforts with the Austrian factory squad for another season in 2018.

Image source: Jari Heikkila

KTM has also mentioned that Mika Kallio will remain as their main test rider for 2018 as well. After months of rumours and uncertainty, this move has brought some closure and relief for both riders and the rest of the squad.

It can be seen with a superb qualifying session this past weekend where both riders made it into Q2 despite harsh weather conditions at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Both riders also managed to qualify their best positions yet in P7 and P8.

The race results however could have been better with Pol Espargaro finishing the race in P11 whereas Bradley Smith was way down the order in P17. This is still quite acceptable considering that this is still their first year in the premier class on board the all-new KTM RC16 MotoGP machinery.

To check out the race results of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan from yesterday, CLICK HERE.

The entire season was seen more of a testing and developing the KTM RC16 which has been struggling to compete with other bikes in the field. The best result that they had was at their home race in Red Bull Ring. Even then, it was their test rider Mika Kallio who was a wildcard entry that finished in the top 10.

Although they are still quite behind, we are sure that with their resources together with a respectable team that they will obtain more positive results come 2018. Stay tuned to Bikes Republic for more updates. One thing that we know for sure is that when it comes to KTM, they will go all out to make sure that their riders and machines are “Ready to Race”.

Photo source: MotoGP

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