Although he had a good launch off the line for the second Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit from P17 today, Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Danilo Petrucci was in 19th at the end of the first lap. Yet, he established himself and did lap times like the leaders towards halfway of the race. The Italian eventually crossed the line in 19th.
On the other side, Iker Lecuona, who came from P21 on the grid, fought his way through the field under the impressive Qatari floodlights. After nine laps, he was already in 18th and worked his way towards the points scoring positions. Unfortunately, the Spaniard lost the front in turn 16 with 10 laps to go.
“It was a very difficult race. I started not bad, but I was too slow on the first lap and was not able to stay with the big group in front of me. At the middle of the race, it was ok. But I never had a really good feeling to push. I struggled a lot with the front and rear grip.”
“Then, we lost a lot on the main straight, so I couldn’t defend myself. I’m so sorry, because I thought to be faster, but in the middle of the race, I couldn’t pass the rider in front of me. Still, we gain some experience and collected some data, so we are looking forward to the next race.”
“First, I have to say sorry to my team and then I also have to say thank you to them. We struggled a lot during this weekend, but we finally tried something on the bike, which made me feel better and a lot more confident. We used the medium rear tyre in the race and also in qualifying, which gave me some great sensations.”
“We knew we could fight for the points. In the race, I did always 55’s low, I passed many riders and caught the group in front of me. But then, I suddenly lost the front. I eventually felt really confident with the bike and felt very fast. I need to take this to Portimao. Now I have to do the surgery in order to be ready for this next round.”
“It was a tough weekend for the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team one more time. I think, even though we would have had a slightly better start and no crashing with Iker, we wouldn’t have scored any points. Iker was eventually going to finish 16th and anyway, out of the points. Danilo was suffering mainly down the straight. At least, Danilo managed to finish the race.”
“It was a difficult opening of the championship for the entire team. The only thing is, we could see the Factory guys doing well. Miguel had an incredible start and was holding a strong position in the beginning, although he faded a bit for a reason I don’t know. But Brad Binder did an incredible race and managed to end up in eighth position, just under five seconds to the winner. So, we should take the positives out of that.”
“We still have a long way to go, but fortunately we will go to circuits, that should be a bit easier for us. Both riders are not injured, although Iker is going to have an operation of his right arm due to an arm-pump issue. Hopefully, we will forget about this problem, that has been holding him to have a more stable pace in the races.”
“We need to carry on working again and take the highlight from Brad to show our guys there is more to come. So, I wish the whole team a safe trip back home and we can’t wait to be at the next round in Portugal, where we have sweet memories, of course.”