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Struggling Tech 3 KTMs "losing something big"

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Struggling Tech 3 KTMs "losing something big"
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Dec 15, 2018, 11:20 AM

The Tech 3 KTM's team poor post-season MotoGP test showing is down to a problem on corner exits, Hafizh Syahrin has declared.

Tech 3, which ended a 20-year relationship with Yamaha to become the second-string KTM operation in 2019, suffered a difficult start to its new alliance with the Austrian manufacturer in Valencia and Jerez.

Both Syahrin and new teammate Miguel Oliveira, who is graduating to the premier class from Moto2, were stranded at the bottom of the timesheets in both tests, with Syahrin concluding the Jerez test 23rd-fastest and 2.5 seconds off the pace.

"At the moment we’re a bit slow in the mid-corner to exit," admitted Syahrin, who along with this team is adapting from Yamaha to KTM machinery.

"We had a lot of spinning, we don’t have any traction, that’s why it’s difficult to improve our laptime and also keep our pace.

"I hope at the factory they can make something on the suspension, or maybe some winglets, because at the moment we have no winglets to keep the front on the ground.

"My feeling is still not enough to be fast, we need to find something to improve to have a good speed on the exit.

"The engine was good and also the chassis was very good, but we need to make a small thing especially on the suspension, on the winglets, on the stiffness of the swingarm, to make improvement.

"The speed entering the corner is very similar, but we lose on the exit. It’s not about engine power, but we lose something big. We need more grip to push us and give us good traction."

Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal was reluctant to set any targets for his squad in the first year of its three-year KTM deal.

Speaking at Valencia to MotoGP.com, he said: "The expectation is to give Miguel what he needs to understand MotoGP, what he needs to eventually fight the other rookies, [Joan] Mir, [Francesco] Bagnaia and [Fabio] Quartararo.

"He is jumping now to [Johann] Zarco's crew [led by Guy Coulon], this crew has a lot of experience of racing in MotoGP. Of course we are also discovering the machine but he is in a good position so I'm expecting him to grow.

"The other side is Syahrin. He was under a lot of pressure in Buriram [in pre-season testing] and he knew how to be fast, not crash, and he did it perfectly.

"For me it was never a possibility not to do [another] year with him, because I think what he did for us was fantastic and we just have to pay him back.

"Also he told me he wanted to stay with my team, [that it] doesn't matter where you go [machinery-wise], I will follow."

Miguel Oliveira, Team KTM Tech 3

Miguel Oliveira, Team KTM Tech 3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Hafizh Syahrin , Miguel Oliveira
Teams Tech 3
Author Jamie Klein