It’s showtime for Red Bull KTM Tech3
Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira eagerly await their debut aboard their KTM RC16 machines in Qatar this weekend, when the 2019 MotoGP World Championship season kicks off under the iconic floodlights of the Losail International Circuit.
The track action for the first of 19 events this year commences with the First Free Practice at 15.40 local time (13.40 CET) and will mark a significant milestone for the Tech3 squad, which officially inaugurates their partnership with motorcycle manufacturer KTM as Red Bull KTM Tech3 team, following numerous days of testing in Valencia, Jerez de la Frontera (both Spain), Sepang (Malaysia) and Losail (Qatar).
“I’m looking forward to the first race very much! We had some tough preseason 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, although we were still quite slow, but we believe that we can arrive at the top one day with this amazing group, 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, I hope to be further up in the standings than during the preseason tests.”
“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. Of course, the outcome is always important, but as it’s the first race for me, I don’t focus on anything definite. My goal is to do a good job, give my maximum and to leave Qatar with a smile.”
“Finally, we are in Qatar and the 2019 MotoGP season is going to start. A new season beginning is always something very exciting, but clearly for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team this year is even more thrilling than the previous because we are opening a new chapter, we will commence a new adventure, we have a new motorcycle manufacturer working with us with KTM, a new title sponsor with Red Bull and a new oil partner with Elf, so it seems we are almost starting from scratch. Of course, we were working really hard during off-season in Spain, Malaysia and Qatar, but we are also very eager and impatient to see what is going happen in first race. Clearly, we are not in a position at moment where we can challenge the top, but the mission this season is to reduce the gap to the fastest riders. I believe with Miguel Oliveira, we have an incredible rider with a huge potential and the strong desire to be part of this project and making it moving forward. Hafizh is in same spirit, he still has to forget a little bit about what he was doing on last years’ machine, but I think they get on very well together and they understand the importance of MotoGP for KTM, plus they can witness the level of commitment from the engineers in Austria, they can feel they are factory riders with a racing department behind them with evolution coming almost every test and this is what makes this new season very entertaining. Our target is to be as close as possible to the full factory KTM MotoGP riders and of course all together to race the level of performance of our KTM RC16 machine and the whole team is 100% dedicated to this mission. We can’t wait to start on Friday night in Losail!”