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Thai test fruitful for KTM

Written by  Feb 17, 2018

Bradley Smith was P16 on Day 2 at the Thai test, and the Brit says it was a positive Saturday of work. With teammate Pol Espargaro sidelined through injury, the work for the Austrian factory comes down to Smith and test rider Mika Kallio – who did the most laps of anyone – and it looks positive.

“I’ve adapted quite well,” says Smith. “On day one I already felt comfortable but we made some steps today, and for both riders too. We had some issues in Malaysia but we’ve got some solutions here already. Both me and Mika feel more comfortable, and we’re sure Pol will feel the same so that’s positive.”

Positive is also the word to describe Smith’s opinion of the track – having worried it wouldn’t be an ideal test venue, the KTM rider is a fan now he’s had some time on the circuit.

“To be honest the Buriram track is fun, it’s very one-line in a couple of places but it’s fun and quite challenging,” he explains. “We’re able to set up the bike and learn some stuff here. I was a bit worried with the layout that we wouldn’t learn so much but having ridden here I think we can make some good steps that will work at other racetracks."

"It has a good variety with hard braking in the beginning of the lap then tighter twisty corners towards the end, high speed low speed.”

On Saturday, it was the front suspension the Austrian factory were testing against that variety of challenges on track – and that’s the plan for tomorrow. With development so fast, even riders at 350km/h sometimes have to push to keep up…

“Towards the end of the day we tried some new things with the front suspension,” says Smith, “and we’ll continue to try that tomorrow because we ran out of time. Tomorrow will be mostly focused on the front of the bike and going from the 1:31s to 1:30. We have so much to get through, it’s always more stuff to test than the time we have!”

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