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MotoGP, Guidotti: “KTM changed 3 riders out of 4? The reason is technical.”

“We needed riders with various experiences. It was the right time for Miller to leave Ducati. Pol Espargarò will help us accelerate the RC16’s development.”

MotoGP: Guidotti: “KTM changed 3 riders out of 4? The reason is technical.”


Francesco Guidotti doesn’t like it when he’s told that there are many from Ducati in the KTM.

Actually, starting this year, we’ll practically have only one more,” he emphasized. “After all, I come from Pramac, Fabio Sterlacchini worked for another company before KTM, and Cristhian Pupulin arrived with Miller. It often happens that a rider brings his own crew chief with him.”  The extra one is Alberto Giribuola, “... who’ll be Performance Engineer. A role that didn’t exist before,” the team manager explained.

But you have to admit that a lot of things are changing at KTM.
This will be an important year for us to understand if we made the right moves. The structure has grown, especially in the company, and I’m curious to understand what results these changes will bring. The work method had to be changed in order to progress, so we hired new people and made changes internally.

What’s the objective?
Now we’re focused mostly on performance whereas, before, we worried too much about everything working well rather than extracting its full potential.”

Speaking of changes. This year you replaced 3 out of 4  riders.
It was a choice dictated by our technical situation. I mean, until last year, we had all the riders who only rode the KTM in the MotoGP. Our engineers needed riders with various experiences. Unfortunately, we lost Oliveira, the most successful rider on our bike, but I’m very happy with our training. I think it’s a nice mix. They’re all fast and, with Augusto Fernandez, we also have a rookie.”

How was it meeting up with Miller again?
He’s a different person. In recent years, he’s grown and I’ve aged,” he said laughing.I found him more mature, and I think the right time had come for him to step out of his comfort zone and leave Ducati. It’s a big challenge, but I saw that he’s motivated.

Satisfied with his first experience with KTM?
Miller’s start was encouraging, and he liked the bike, even if there are a lot of things to fix. I expected that the adaptation wouldn’t be very simple. Some difficulties are normal after so many years on another bike.” 

Instead, what impression did Pol make on you?
I saw he was very enthusiastic. Maybe he understood that he had made a mistake in the past in leaving us ... Jack, Pol will be very important for us, both because of their experience and because they’re very strong in qualifying, where sometimes we struggled. Let’s be clear, it wasn’t all the fault of the riders. Even our bike was lacking something.

Will you also use Espargarò as a tester in the race? A bit like what happens in Ducati with Zarco?
He asked us, because he finished the season last year with the same bike with which he had started it. We’ll use his experience to accelerate development.

They say Fernandez’s spot is already at risk, with Acosta at the door.
If I were Augusto, I’d think about taking advantage of the present rather than thinking about the future. He must experience this season as a great opportunity and play his cards well. Anything can happen. I don’t want to say whether Acosta will get there or not, but I want to advise Augusto to think about the present and to improve round after round, race after race.”

What do you think of the Sprint Race?
It’s great news for everyone. It’ll increase the pressure and the risk of making mistakes. From a technical point of view, I think a bike that’s easy to fix is needed, also because there won’t be a FP4 to help clarify the ideas for the race. It’ll be important for riders to prepare well, both physically and mentally.

Is the goal to aim for the title?
The realistic one is to improve on what we did last year, while the main one is to win in the championship. I don’t know if we’ll be ready to do it this season, but we’ll work hard for it.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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