First steps for 2022 MotoGP™ with two-day Misano test
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing extended their workload at the Misano World Circuit Simoncelli for 2022 MotoGP™ and after the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini with the penultimate IRTA test of the 2021 schedule.
As well as set-up work for the remaining four rounds of the championship and evaluation of components for 2022 KTM also gave Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 stars Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez their first laps on the RC16 around the Italian circuit.
Despite the increasingly unstable weather conditions on the Adriatic coast, the MotoGP teams made the most of the track time across the two-day test to judge ideas and parts with a view towards the final stage of the 2021 campaign and for the 2022 spec of the KTM RC16. Miguel Oliveira, in particular, experimented with alterations to the aerodynamic package to gather data as part of his work through 70 laps on Wednesday. Teammate Brad Binder was also assessing prototype options for general set-up as well as electronics and Red Bull KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa was also in action.
Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci circulated Misano on Tuesday but Wednesday provided an opportunity for 2022 recruits and current Moto2 championship pace-setters Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez to have their first taste of the KTM RC16. Gardner suffered a slow speed tumble after running off track but still accumulated more than 50 laps while Fernandez’s best lap-time was just 2.5 seconds away from the quickest of the day after a similar amount of track mileage.
Early next week both teams will decamp from Europe for only their second ‘flyaway’ of the 2021 calendar. The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas will take place at COTA in Austin on October 3rd.
Miguel Oliveira: “I’m happy. We tried a couple of things today with the setting and the aerodynamics. We will try to combine what we have learnt for the rest of this season and for the direction of next year’s bike. Little differences can have a big effect. I feel we have made a step forward these two days. We didn’t attack for a lap-time but I’m happy, the team is happy and we’ll go to Austin with a positive attitude.”
Brad Binder: “Our performances over the past two days have been better than we were at the GP. In general, I’m quite happy and I feel like we have worked hard this week. Our rhythm is quite OK and today I made a step with that and be quite fast even on used tires. The mechanics worked like hell and we tried a lot of different things. As always some worked well and others not so much. We looked at electronics to try and get out of the corners better and now it’s down to the data guys to analyze everything and to see if we are getting more drive. Overall, I feel we’re ready to go to Austin.”
Remy Gardner, KTM GP Academy: “Incredible, honestly. I mean I expected power and strong braking but until you really try it then you don’t know. I was going through gears like there was no tomorrow. Even in the last laps it was mind-blowing how fast it was. I had a great day and a lot of fun. It was good to get a feel for the bike and to try and understand it. It was a nice little treat for us by KTM. I cannot wait to start for real and I’m looking forward to push the bike next time, trying to find those limits.”
Raul Fernandez, KTM GP Academy: “I’m really happy and thanks to KTM for giving me an opportunity. It was an amazing day and incredible to ride that bike. At the beginning there were many new things to think about, like the carbon brakes, but after a while it felt quite easy and I was enjoying it like a kid. The power was…wow. I want to start the work for next season as soon as possible even though all my focus is on Moto2 right now. In Valencia we’ll start again.”
Danilo Petrucci: “We tried to find some solutions for the issues we encountered during the weekend here, but to be honest, it was not easy to understand where to begin and what the main thing is. I always struggle to be faster with the new tyres, whereas I feel better with the used one, which is not easy. We found something, which was in terms of setup, so we hope to be able to improve when we are back here in October.”
Iker Lecuona: “The conditions in the morning were strange. It was rather mixed, so we decided not to go out in the morning and just ride in the afternoon. I have the feeling that we improved. I was riding alone, my pace was better and my feeling with the bike increased. The feedback was better, although I had a small crash. We tried some different things with the base. In general, I’m quite happy.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “We’ve used this test to start the stopwatch on ideas for 2022. We tried some items that will not appear this season but to get the first impressions from the riders and also record some data. The next step of course is to get back to the factory and see how we can use the positive comments to improve performance. The test was also useful to see what we can do about the rest of 2021. We had a strong part of the season where we were regular podium contenders and then some tougher races recently.
So it was important to confirm some of the paths we took and where we can continue to go for the rest of the championship. Raul and Remy took the Tech3 RC16s for some laps and it is always super-nice to see when a rider has his first experience with a MotoGP bike; their faces when they came back in said a lot! They have never had that power before. The target of the test for them was just to get that taste of MotoGP. We move to Austin now but, overall, we’re glad to give something back to the factory so they can keep pushing hard to be ready again for 2022.”
Sebastian Risse, Technical Coordinator MotoGP: “We had quite a tough but productive test here. It is one of the challenges of losing your concessions and the extra limited testing. The factory is going full gas on new ideas and new projects and we have to fit that into the tight schedule and that has been demanding. The 2022 season will be here before we know it, so we had a lot of things on the list. We had to clarify some things for the next races and also for the one here at Misano.
Luckily after the bad weather at the beginning we had the chance to get more done and we are happy with the outcome. We worked on pretty much all areas of the bike where we are looking for improvements for next year and we gathered a lot of important information which we will now dial-in for the November test. We also had a great chance to get our riders for next year on the Tech3 machines and to get to know the bike as well as the team and that was a promising opportunity.”
Results MotoGP Misano IRTA test 2021 Day 2
- Aleix Espargaro (ESP) Aprilia 1:31.584
- Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Ducati +0.080
- Joan Mir (ESP) Suzuki +0.123
- Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) Honda +0.151
- Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.214
- Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.552
- Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.591
- Raul Fernandez (ESP), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +2.404
- Remy Gardner (AUS), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +3.057
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