KTM RED BULL THOR FACTORY TEAM RACER COLE THOMPSON STARTS 2019 WITH AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE IN ABBOTSFORD
Chambly, QC – The KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Racing Team had a successful start to the 2019 season last Saturday in Abbotsford, BC. Cole Thompson arrived at the first round of the Triple Crown Series READY TO RACE and to defend his #1 plate. He accomplished his goal and ended the night on top of the podium securing the first win of the Triple Crown AX Series.
Thompson started the night in a favorable position. His second place finish in the qualifier meant he would have a great gate pick for the main event. He had a strong start, and after missing the holeshot by a hair, was in second after lap one. He did not waste much time getting up front, and once he made the pass for first, he didn't look back.
The wet dirt used to build the track quickly became rough, rutted and technical. It was especially challenging in the whoop section. Luckily for Cole, technical tracks are his specialty. Thompson found his grove despite the conditions and rode the remainder of the race with a comfortable gap over second and third.
Jean-Sebastien Roy – KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Racing Team Manager: “We are very happy to start the season like this. Cole has been working hard during the off season. He came prepared and with the right attitude.“
Cole Thompson – KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Team MX1 Racer: "I am so pumped to leave round 1 with the red plate. It was my goal to come here and show these guys I've been doing my homework over the last few months.“
The Triple Crown AX Series will continue next weekend in Calgary, Alberta. We are heading into round 2 of the 4 round series.
We want to extend a big congratulations to Cole from everyone here at KTM Canada.
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 10:25 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Red Bull KTM launched the 2019 MotoGP year with Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco scoring 12th and 15th positions at the Losail International Circuit but with a vastly reduced margin to the race winner.
Temperatures improved and the windy conditions that blighted Practice and Qualification on Saturday were not so prevalent for the first round of nineteen. The fans and viewers that turned their attention to the rapid, floodlit corners of the Qatari racetrack – fifteen years as part of the MotoGP calendar – were rewarded with three entertaining races split by fractions of a second.
KTM fielded a bold line-up of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team and Red Bull KTM Tech3: the first time that four KTM RC16s were present on the premier class Grand Prix grid. Pol Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Johann Zarco ran close together for most of the race in the second half of a field that was closely packed, and often with only ten seconds dividing the majority of runners. Hafizh Syahrin struggled to find an effective rhythm and classified outside the points.
Espargaro was finally able to overtake his Portuguese brandmate and finished in 12th position: just 12.7 seconds away from winner Andrea Dovizioso. The gap was more than half the distance achieved in 2017 and 2018. Zarco recovered from a tough Saturday period and a grid slot of 21st to notch his first point on the RC16 with 15th. Oliveira forged an impressive early pace but in the second half of the race had to slow due to tyre wear and passed the chequered flag in 17th.
Pol Espargaro: “A mix of feelings but we must be happy because the gap to first place is not so far. We were close…but we also finished twelfth. It feels like it’s good, but also that it’s not enough. When you are close to the top guys you start to look what is going on and thinking about where we lose such a small gap per lap. I think we are talking 0.3 per lap: it is not much. I think it is in some acceleration. We are so close but twelve seconds away.”
Johann Zarco: “The beginning of the race was pretty good. I was controlling the bike well and the others were not much stronger than me. It was a good way to analyse the performance of the others. I’m happy because I expected to have some struggles but I saw other riders were also having problems: I know at the moment we don't have the package for winning, not even for the top five but with good work and good control I really trust that a top ten is possible and that is the target throughout the year. Let’s see in Argentina if I can catch it. I wanted it here but because of the up-and-down of Friday and Saturday finally I was not ready. That is part of experience, and doing 22 laps in a row was really important and the first time we do it. I have a factory team and I know they have the quality to make a strong analysis of this race.”
Miguel Oliveira: “The race was quite interesting. I was trying to keep up with this little group of Aleix Esparagaro and Taka Nakagami and after seven, eight laps to go I felt a big drop of tyre, I had a lot of sliding with vibration on the rear, so I honestly thought the tyre was going to explode. Obviously, I couldn’t do much. I’m disappointed, because I knew I could have finished in the points. It was quite hard to manage it, but anyway, I’m glad we finished the race, I had good fun and gathered some good information.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “It has been a difficult race for me. We have a big gap to the front and I don’t know how to explain it well. I couldn’t keep the pace and while I played with the electronics the gap got bigger and bigger. To be honest, I’m slow at the moment and I don’t have the confidence to push more. I try to learn from today’s race and improve further. I’m disappointed with myself, but we keep on working hard, we are patient and I hope it’s coming soon.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “Round one and generally we are really happy to have four bikes on the grid and have all four finish: this sounds like something quite easy but it is not always like that. Both Pol and Johann were quite happy with the performance of the bike and we know we have to improve our package and continue to grow. When we first came here we were thirty seconds from the race winner and we have to be realistic. This was never an easy track for us but in the middle of the race we were only 5-6 seconds away and this is very motivating for everybody in the team to keep pushing. We have eighteen more races now and we will try often as possible to get into these top ten positions.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “The first Grand Prix is done and I’m happy. All four guys were back in the garage healthy and being just 12 seconds from the winner means just half a second a lap. We had doubts and struggles all weekend at this track and some critical questions but 0.5 is still not too far and I know we can still improve and it will bring us right into the middle of a serious game. Johann was perhaps struggling the most of the group but managed to have a good race. We’ll build on this.”
Moto2 & Moto3
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder finished in 12th position for the first Moto2 Grand Prix with a new single spec engine – only the second time in the history of the category inaugurated at the beginning of the decade. Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin opened his account both with his new team and in the Moto2 category in 15th.
The 18-lap Moto3 race was the first of the day and was won by Kaito Toba with Aron Canet taking his KTM RC250 GP on the podium in 3rd place (the first of five KTMs in the top ten). Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Can Öncü completed his maiden Grand Prix in what is his debut FIM world championship season in 18th position.
The Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina will represent round two of nineteen and will take place in three weeks time.
Monday, 11 March 2019 18:14 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The time for tests, talk and tentative speculation is over. MotoGP 2019 begins this weekend and will see KTM’s biggest and most ambitious assault on the FIM World Championship fire into life as the factory hopes to dazzle under the Losail lights.
For the fifteen year in a row the Losail International Circuit will welcome MotoGP. The Grand Prix paddock will gather again less than two weeks after the second IRTA test of the pre-season period took place at the same flat, pacey and demanding facility close to the ever-changing metropolis of Doha.
In those final rapid laps of experimentation and refinement of the Red Bull KTM RC16 Pol Espargaro got to within half a second of the best time while new teammate Johann Zarco – who will mark a notable career milestone after first gracing a Grand Prix circuit as a Red Bull Rookie in the 2007 inauguration of the series – continued his adaptation to the factory bike.
Red Bull KTM will tackle only their third year as part of the MotoGP grid and with memories of their maiden podium finish at Valencia for the final fixture of 2018 not yet faded. Espargaro boasts a best result of 7th at the Qatari circuit in five years of MotoGP competition while Zarco has a 8th: 2019 will be just his third term in the premier class.
KTM presented their full line-up in a comprehensive launch event in Austria last month, and will watch the first round of nineteen with interest through the categories. Like many race fans the ‘orange family’ and KTM followers will have their own questions: how far will Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin push into the pack? Will Brad Binder start the new Moto2 era with a trophy? Will Can Öncü make another immediate impression in Moto3?
2019 gets underway with the first Moto3 Free Practice sessions at 11.50 CET this Friday. The races themselves will occur at 15.00 (Moto3), 16.20 (Moto2) and 18.00 (MotoGP) CET on Sunday.
Pol Espargaro: “Losail is a strange track and pretty different to all the others; mainly because it is the first grand prix and everyone wants to start the season well. There is a lot of pressure. Racing in the night means the temperatures are usually quite low and the humidity is high, from one hour to the other or from the start of the race until the end the track can change a lot so you have to adapt fast. We’ll look to do our best and get the race set-up fixed as quickly as we can.”
Johann Zarco: “I first raced at Losail in 2009, so ten years ago. I remember leading race here in Moto2 and I had a mechanical problem and had to finish the race in third gear and missed the win! My first race in MotoGP was also nice. It is a fast track and of course what makes it special is to ride at night. It’s also the first race so it has a different kind of pressure: you start a long season here but then when you arrive to the end it always feels like it has passed so fast from this first moment.”
Miguel Oliveira: “I think the approach for the first GP is always quite simple, it’s to do my best and try to do my job as always, plus making the team happy with my performance. I feel it’s important for me to finish the race, to get experience and to get to know where to improve my riding. The most important thing is to gather this experience in my first race in MotoGP, I don’t think about any result in specific.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “I’m looking forward to the first race very much! We had some tough pre-season tests, where we tried to adapt to the bike step by step. It was pretty good and I felt better and better with the bike. So we keep on working hard, try to understand everything and keep the mind fresh to be ready for race day. Let’s see what we can do.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “The target is to reach the top positions as much as possible but we have to be realistic and this is just the third year for us. We are still fighting against manufacturers with many more years in this business. We are pushing to improve our package on many different aspects and this will of course take some time but racing is racing and we will always look for good results. Doha has been a difficult track for us. We started our project here two years ago and that’s why we are really happy to see the test lap-times closer than they have ever been to the fastest. I think for the race we can be optimistic and find the good set-up in the four sessions. The challenge there is that the track conditions can change day-to-day. We just have to be open and adapt to what we find.”
Tuesday, 05 March 2019 15:47 Published in Rider and Team Releases
KTM’s best, largest and most ambitious assault on MotoGP Grand Prix racing was unveiled a short distance from the factory in Mattighofen, Austria this afternoon. Riders and staff from Red bull KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Tech3 were introduced by KTM management as part of the company’s most comprehensive line-up to face the FIM World Championship.
Tuesday, 12 February 2019 12:38 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The opening chapter of the 2019 MotoGP year closed today as three days of official IRTA testing at the hot Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia introduced a sizzling early pace into the pre-season period. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Tech3 as well as test rider Mika Kallio completed a busy and comprehensive programme during the IRTA sessions as well as two days of private work to make pleasing progress in their preparation for the Grand Prix campaign ahead.
Continued high temperatures and improving grip around the long Sepang layout saw lap-times tumble into new record territory on the third and final day of work in Malaysia. Pol Espargaro, Johann Zarco and Miguel Oliveira were able to increase their pace to find lap-time in the 1min 59 bracket as the riders wearily notched almost 200 laps between them in what was their fifth day circulating Sepang.
Espargaro - entering his third year with the KTM RC16 - signed-off a hectic agenda of experimentation and successfully banished memories of his heavy crash twelve months earlier at the same venue that caused a setback to his 2018 season. Zarco continued his adaption to his new racebike – only his second for his third term in the premier class – and was satisfied with the gains he could make for front-end feeling and confidence. Oliveira was the surprise package of the day among the ‘orange’ group and his time attack showed real promise from the MotoGP rookie. Mika Kallio forged ahead with his testing regime while Hafizh Syahrin struggled a little with fatigue today but was still able to grasp a feeling of progress once the eight-hour period was chequered flagged.
The MotoGP quartet will now travel back to Europe and to the KTM factory in Mattighofen for the 2019 Grand Prix presentation on Tuesday 12th February. The second and final pre-season test will take place at Losail in Qatar from 23rd-25th February.
Pol Espargaro: “We made an amazing rhythm today. On the first day we couldn’t, and then yesterday I was half a second slower than today. The pace was very, very nice and I was comfortable doing it. The fast lap was not what I expected – I found [Franco] Morbidelli in the way in the morning and could not improve – but this is a test and we go home with the knowledge we have done a good job. It is the first time we felt this big improvement from just one test. We have had five hot and hard days here but I think the whole team and factory did an amazing job: all the guys were super-focussed.”
Johann Zarco: “I tried this morning to improve further but I did not expect all the others to be going that fast! It was quite incredible. I’m pretty happy to be able to do many laps under two-minutes. We are happy with what we did, but we still have a lot of work. Overall I have improved my feeling and my control of the bike over five hard days. We will see what I can do in Losail. It will be interesting to see if we can adapt quicker in Qatar than we did here. The lap-time was better than I expected and we reached good points in our plan.”
Mike Leitner, Team Manager: “We have been testing so many things these days, from chassis to suspension to aerodynamics and we had three riders in the 1min 59s by the end. We could not really manage the super-fast single lap but on the longer runs people are quite happy and we are very consistent. We have a good feeling about the test. It was super-important. We worked many days and made steps that were very big. We took the time to make ‘basic’ work on our bikes where the focus is not always the lap-time. We will go to Doha now and hope to use this good information. A big thanks to all our five riders here in these demanding conditions: they worked through many ideas that came up in the factory during the winter and the guys in Austria have been pushing hard. We still need to fine-tune some things but we are going in the right direction.”
Sebastian Risse, Technical Director: “All-in-all it was a long test for us and a lot of things have piled up in all areas of the bike over the winter. So it was an intense test, also with Tech3 structure here now also that allowed us to get even more information. I think we can be very happy with our progress and we made huge steps with our new riders in terms of getting confidence in the bike and setting and development. Looking at what we have done and the pace compared to previous years we are happy. The speed was quite incredible today and our positions are not quite what we were looking for. We know our competitors are strong and are developing their motorcycles quickly but we have to be even quicker! That was the challenge here. I think we did it…but we also have a long way to go. We will have to prepare our priorities well now for the last test and make sure we make another step forward in performance.”
Miguel Oliveira: “The lap time was ok. It was not as fast as I expected because I couldn’t match the best configuration of the bike with the best tyres in the best moment, but in any case, I’m very close to the two KTM factory riders, closer than everybody expected. We have been really competitive with used tyres, which is good for the race. At the moment, I can see a clear step forward, so I think it’s about going to the Qatar test, taking the experiences from these three days and just trying to be another step better.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “We improved a lot compared to yesterday. The lap time is significantly faster than before, but still a bit far from the top. During this last day, I felt really good with the bike, but my physical condition was not ideal. After four full days of riding, the muscles in my arms were too hard and I was lacking some power. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed about myself for this, as the bike was truly great for this last day and I couldn’t fully use it. Anyway, I’ll try to do my best during the Qatar test before the start of the season, we are on a positive way and for sure we can be better.”
IRTA test overall standings after Day 3
1. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Ducati 1:58.239
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Ducati +0.063
3. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.127
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +0.299
5. Maverick Viñales (SPA), Yamaha +0.405
17. Johann Zarco (FRA), KTM +1.401
18. Pol Espargaro (SPA), KTM +1.512
19. Miguel Oliveira (POR), KTM +1.710
22. Mika Kallio (FIN), KTM +2.284
23. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), KTM +2.527
Friday, 08 February 2019 18:22 Published in Rider and Team Releases
KTM RED BULL THOR FACTORY RACER JESS PETTIS FINISHES THE AMA WEST SUPERCROSS WITH A CAREER BEST 5TH PLACE FINISH
Chambly, QC – Canadian KTM Red Bull THOR Factory racer Jess Pettis battled through very tough conditions this past weekend in San Diego, CA to earn a 5th place finish in the Main Event!
Pettis had another stellar day in the 250SX West division, earning a career-best fifth place in the Main Event. Pettis got off to a great start aboard his KTM 250 SX-F, where he assumed the second-place position early on. He battled inside the top-five all race long despite encountering a couple of overturned riders along the way. Pettis maintained his composure and finished strong. He now sits tenth overall in the 250SX West Championship standings.
Jess Pettis – KTM RED BULL THOR Factory MX2 Racer: "San Diego supercross was really good on me. The conditions were really muddy, but I was able to keep a positive attitude and have fun all day. I qualified 9th, got 4th in my heat race, and had a good start in the main event, battled inside the top 5 the whole race. After a couple of tip overs I was able to cross the finished line in 5th place for a career best. I am also in 10th in points which I’m really excited about.
Jean-Sebastien Roy – KTM Red Bull THOR Factory Racing Team Manager: “This was an incredible night again for Jess. In some of the worst conditions ever seen in a Supercross he was not only able to finish the race, but he topped his night off with his best results so far. Again, I’m very happy with the progress him and his mechanic are making to be READY TO RACE for when the Canadian season begins.”
Results 450SX Class – San Diego 2019
1. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, 12 laps
2. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, +4.199
3. Ken Roczen (GER), Honda, +7.266
4. Justin Bogle (USA), KTM, +28.336
8. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM
9. Blake Baggett (USA), KTM
19. Cade Autenrieth (USA), KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2019 after 5 of 17 rounds
1. Tomac, 106
2. Musquin, 102
3. Roczen, 102
4. Webb, 98
5. Baggett, 80
13. Bogle, 50
Results 250SX West Class – San Diego 2019
1. Adam Cianciarulo (USA), Kawasaki, 9 laps
2. Garrett Marchbanks (USA), Kawasaki, +08.574
3. James Decotis (USA), Suzuki, +35.562
4. Shane McElrath (USA), KTM, +38.720
5. Jess Pettis (CAN), KTM, +45.740 ***
8. Mathias Jorgensen (USA), KTM
18. Devin Harriman (USA), KTM
Standings 250SX West Class 2019 after 5 of 17 rounds
1. Cianciarulo, 114
2. McElrath, 106
3. Nichols, 104
10. Pettis, 66 ***
14. Cantrell, 46
15. Robin, 27
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 12:19 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Chambly, QC – KTM Red Bull THOR Factory Racer Jess Pettis leaves Anaheim 2 with 11th overall in the Triple Crown main event standings and looks forward to improving his position in the upcoming race in Oakland, CA on January 26th.
With the technical Anaheim track causing problems for many riders out there, Pettis finished just outside the top-ten overall with 11-13-10 Main Event scores. In the first Triple Crown formatted event of the season, Pettis remained consistent throughout the night to earn valuable points in the overall championship.
Jess Pettis – KTM RED BULL THOR Factory MX2 Racer: “A2 was another good and consistent night of racing for me. It was difficult with the triple crown layout and being low on energy due to having the flu late in the week. But I was happy to get 11-13-10 moto scores for 11th overall and had a lot of fun out there battling with everyone.
Jean-Sebastien Roy – KTM Red Bull THOR Factory Racing Team Manager: “What a difficult track here tonight. Probably the most technical I’ve seen in a long time. It was a 3 main events format which made it even more challenging. Jess was riding very well, and we’re improving the set-up of the bike each time. His goal is to finish inside the top 8 and I believe he will achieve that in the next race or two.”
Next Race: Oakland, California – January 26, 2019
Results 450SX Class – Anaheim II 2019
1. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM, (1-1-3)
2. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, (3-2-2)
3. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, (4-4-1)
15. Blake Baggett (USA), KTM, (21-10-12)
17. Justin Bogle (USA), KTM, (16-18-14)
Standings 450SX Class 2019 after 3 of 17 rounds
1. Roczen, 63
2. Tomac, 61
3. Webb, 57
4. Barcia, 56
5. Musquin, 56
8. Baggett, 45
16. Bogle, 18
Results 250SX West Class – Anaheim II 2019
1. Shane McElrath (USA), KTM, (3-2-1)
2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Yamaha, (2-1-3)
3. Colt Nichols (USA), Yamaha, (1-3-4)
11. Jess Pettis (CAN), KTM, (11-13-10) ***
12. Sean Cantrell (USA), KTM, (13-10-13)
19. Jerry Robin (USA), KTM, (18-17-21)
Standings 250SX West Class 2019 after 3 of 17 rounds
1. Nichols, 70 points
2. McElrath, 68
3. Ferrandis, 63
11. Pettis, 36 ***
13. Cantrell, 33
18. Robin, 16
*** = KTM Canada Red Bull THOR Factory Race Team
Monday, 21 January 2019 12:55 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Two more days of essential set-up work and data gathering for the 2019 FIM MotoGP season took place at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain yesterday and today. The final test of 2018 saw Red Bull KTM flanked by the new Red Bull Tech 3 KTM RC16s of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin once more.
Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:31 Published in Rider and Team Releases
MILLVILLE, N.J. – Alex Dumas and the KTM Orange Brigade Road Racing Team wrapped up the inaugural MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship on Sunday in difficult conditions at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:41 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Bradley Smith enjoyed his most effective qualification session in Red Bull KTM colours and will sit in the middle of the third row of the grid for his home Grand Prix at Silverstone tomorrow while Loris Baz, a late replacement for the still injured Pol Espargaro, rode to 18th in his second day of action with the KTM RC16.
Sunday, 26 August 2018 13:40 Published in Rider and Team Releases