Austrian manufacturer KTM has been busy testing with a variety of former World Championship riders in order to prepare the KTM RC16 for its World Championship debut in 2017 but has also remained focus on signing an all-star line up for 2017. At the start of the 2016 season, they announced Bradley Smith as their first rider and on the eve of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, Pol Espargaro has announced he too will be joining Smith for the 2017 season. The current teammates have proven to be competitive, Espargaro especially so in 2016. The pair are also known for their in depth feedback, critical for assisting KTM in the development of their MotoGP machine.
Since moving up to the MotoGP World Championship as the Moto2 World Champion in 2014, Pol Espargaro has achieved a best finish of fourth at the 2014 French GP and has taken 32 top-ten finishes in the premier class. Espargaro’s focus remains on the 2016 season, the Spaniard out to achieve the best results he can before making his debut on the RC16 later in the year.
Pol Espargaro: “I am going to sign with KTM for the next two years and join the new adventure with them. New team, new bike in MotoGP. I saw the opportunity to try something different and to try and be with these guys in the future. Working together with KTM will be crazy hard, but I’m ready to work. They also showed me they’re ready to work. We have an agreement for two years and I want to thank Yamaha, Herve and Lin as they gave me the chance to grow in MotoGP and this is my dream come true. I have to say thanks and also to Ducati and Avintia because they showed a lot of interest too but we couldn’t go that way. Happy to face this adventure with KTM and finish this year well.”
Pit Beirer (Motorsport Director): “We’re more than happy that we’re now able to sign Pol Espargaro as a young rider of form and with MotoGP experience for this dynamic project. Both Pol and Bradley are well suited to KTM. Also in Mika Kallio we have an extremely motivated and competent test rider within the structure. We can grow together and continue to develop in all aspects. Now we hope for good conditions for the further tests and extend wishes to everyone for a successful rest of the season 2016.”
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