KTM RC16 updates bear fruit in Mugello

KTM took their best qualifying result of the 2021 season so far in Mugello, with Brad Binder sixth and Miguel Oliveira right behind in seventh.

Concerns were beginning to grow that the Austrian squad were not performing to expectations this year with only one top-five finish in the first five rounds.

Some of this performance can not be laid on the bike completely as the Michelin tyre compounds this year give a greater disadvantage to the KTM RC16 bike, as opposed to some of their rivals.

But new upgrades brought to Mugello on the RC16 chassis have given just that little bit more confidence both Binder and Oliveira need to be at the front.

A new, updated frame of the bike alongside a new fuel supplier in the form of ETS Racing Fuels will help bring the KTM back to the front of the pack in the upcoming races.

Binder also went on to match the all-time MotoGP top speed record in FP3 earlier today at 225.2 mph, proving the new package is doing a good job.

The two riders were both happy with the progress made in yesterday’s practice sessions, with the KTM allowing them to take more speed through the twisty Mugello corners.

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After qualifying, Binder said he is excited to see what he can achieve from sixth on the grid tomorrow.

“I felt fast and I’m really happy to qualify 6th. I’ve been missing a decent qualification this season so far,” he said in a press release.

“The weekend has been going well and when I put in a soft tyre I always seem to be able to find a decent lap-time.

“I couldn’t quite make the perfect lap today but I’m excited with the speed I have and to see what we can do in the race.”

Oliveira is right behind his South African teammate on the grid after ending qualifying in seventh.

The Portuguese rider said although he just missed out on the second row, there is still plenty to be happy about going into the race tomorrow.

“Our best qualification of 2021 so far and although I missed the second row by fractions of a second I have to be happy,” he said.

“Together with the team we have put together a very solid weekend up until this point so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

I would like to take this moment to send my best wishes to Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier after a crash in qualifying today. I hope for positive news soon.