KTM wouldn't have gained from extra 2016 wildcards

KTM wouldn't have gained anything from making extra MotoGP wildcard appearances in 2016, according to Pol Espargaro's new crew chief Paul Trevathan.

KTM wouldn't have gained from extra 2016 wildcards
Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Yonny Hernandez, Aspar Racing Team, Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Tito Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

The Austrian manufacturer enters the championship full-time this year with Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, alongside its existing Moto3 programme and new effort in Moto2.

Mika Kallio led KTM's development programme during 2016 and then raced as a wildcard in the Valencia season finale, the Finn keeping pace with the pack before having to retire with a failed sensor.

"The project was so young," Trevathan told Motorsport.com's sister outlet Autosport when asked whether KTM could have made more wildcard showings in 2016.

"I think we wouldn't have gained anything, because there are so many new people, so many things to try we really had to try to do it behind closed doors and do it step by step ourselves.

"Sure, we would love to be [racing] six months earlier, but the reality is that it wouldn't have helped where we are now. We really needed to get the group together, and get them working in a good way."

Smith and Espargaro rode the KTM bike for the first time in the Valencia post-race test last November, with Smith testing again at Jerez alongside Kallio later in the month.

Trevathan says the team's race riders confirmed its suspicion that the RC16 needed to be better in changes of direction, and that waiting for their input was worthwhile.

"In my opinion we have a very balanced package with the RC16, and a good thing is that all three riders we have are pinpointing the same thing that we're missing," he said.

"It is something we suspected earlier but we wondered if the new guys would think the same. It didn't stop development, but we did hold back a little bit until the new guys tried the bike and we could be sure we were going in the right direction.

"We have a clear target and the riders are saying that, if we touch this particular area, then the difference will be felt immediately. I think that is super-positive for the whole project."

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