Smith: KTM desperately need more pace

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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Bradley Smith said
the Austrian manufacturer needs pace desperately to have any
chance of getting points at the upcoming weekend’s MotoGP race
at Qatar’s Losail Circuit.

The 26-year-old Briton was only able to do a time of 1m56.351s
at the final pre-season test in Qatar meaning he was way down
the pecking order and 21st quickest. The only others he was
faster than was KTM test rider Mika Kallio and team-mate Pol
Espargaro.

For the KTM rider to get any points he needs to finish at least
15th placed in Sunday’s MotoGP race.

In an interview carried by Autosport, Smith acknowledged that
if KTM did not find at least half a second of pace then the
chances of doing much over the weekend were very limited.

“That next area is where we need to be if we want to fight for
points,” Smith said. “Looking at the times, we need to find
probably another half a second from somewhere.

“If we can be in the 1m55s in qualifying, that would be quite
positive but then again we have to see the track conditions. It
would be nice to come here and fight for points, maybe that’s a
little bit optimistic, but let’s set the bar a little bit high
and see if we can chase that.”

“We are about half a second away from [15th, the final
points-paying position] at the moment in terms of one lap and
probably only about a quarter of a second, two or three away
from that on the race pace.”



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