Following a tricky start into the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season, the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team eagerly awaits the fifth round of the year on home soil in Le Mans, France.
However, Danilo Petrucci has fond memories to the French circuit, where he has been on the podium the last three years. While getting more and more used to his new KTM RC16 machine, the Italian is optimistic to find another step at the traditional Bugatti Circuit. Likewise, Iker Lecuona, who had a fruitful test at the Jerez circuit one week ago, aims to further improve his sensations as well as his results starting from Free Practice one this Friday at 9.55 local time.
“I’m very happy to return to Le Mans. This place always creates beautiful memories for me, it’s a track that I like a lot. In the last years, I have been on the podium there, last year I won the race. First of all, it’s the home race of my team and we need all our strength to fight for the top positions. I imagine Le Mans is a good opportunity to make progress and fight closer to the front. I really can’t wait to be on my bike again at one of my favorite circuits!”
“I think I need to continue to work with the team. I have the feeling, I improved a lot in Jerez, also on Monday after the Grand Prix I learned a lot together with my crew, especially about the tyres. We should just try to keep this line, improving our performance and I have a good feeling that in Le Mans I can be back on my usual level. The aim is to get better and better, fight for the points and maybe even for the top 10.”
“The next Grand Prix is the French one and it’s already the fifth round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Time flies since we started in Qatar and it was only about half a year ago when we came back from Le Mans. Although it’s the home Grand Prix for the team, not having a French rider in our garage, makes it a bit more normal, but it’s still always a pleasure to come to Le Mans and see the bigger interest from the media. Yet, it’s a shame we won’t have any spectators there.”
“I believe the circuit is going to be quite interesting for our KTM RC16 machine. Last year with Miguel and Iker we have been pretty fast in both, dry and wet conditions, which is important because it looks like it’s going to be wet this year. Clearly, after the positive step we made in Jerez I’m expecting both, Danilo and Iker to make another step this weekend. We need to carry on pushing with both in order to give the right feedback to the KTM engineers and we need to qualify better.”
“Our target is to have at least one rider inside the top 10, but also to be as close as we can to Miguel and Brad, who are the benchmark inside the KTM family and there is no reason for our two guys not to catch up with them. The grid is incredibly close. In FP3 in Jerez the top 10 have been separated by just 0.2 seconds, which is showing the competitiveness of this class. We are not lost, we just need to make another small step forward to be fighting for the top like last year.”
“The test we did on Monday in Jerez was for sure a help for our riders in order to feel better on the bike and although we didn’t find anything very special I think both, Danilo and Iker understood a bit better how to ride and setup their machines with the current 2021 environment.”