KTM MotoGP launch: Manufacturer reveals livery for 2018 season

KTM has revealed the livery for its RC16 for the 2018 MotoGP season, its second season in the premier class.

The team’s launch took place at Salzburg Airport’s Hangar-7, which is owned by title sponsor Red Bull.

KTM made its MotoGP debut last year, finishing fifth in the manufacturers’ standings, and will continue with an unchanged line-up of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith in 2018.

The duo will be joined by test rider Mika Kallio on a third RC16 for five wildcard outings at Jerez, Barcelona, Sachsenring, the Red Bull Ring and Aragon.

For 2018, KTM will no longer be allowed to make unlimited fairing changes throughout the season, something it was able to do last year.

“The good thing about riding ride with KTM is you never know where you’re going to finish,” said Espargaro, who missed the pre-season test at Buriram after a crash in Malaysia as well as one day of the final Qatar test.

“Nobody could say at the beginning of last year when we were starting [the Qatar race] on the two last places on the grid that we’re going to finish in the top 10.

“We want to start where we finished last year, fighting for the top 10, but where we’re going finish, we don’t know. We want to start finishing in the top six, [and get] some good results.”

Smith added: “We managed 14 days of testing [over the winter, including private test days] – that is a lot of laps, a lot of improvements, understanding a lot of data and all of that’s gone into what we have now.

“It’s exciting starting the season in this shape knowing that if we put everything together we can come back in the same level as we finished last year, as that is never a given.”

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