MotoGP Le Mans: ‘Small gains made’ at Jerez test, says Poncharal

Red Bull Tech3 team boss Herve Poncharal is hopeful that some small gains made with new parts for his satellite KTM RC16s at the Jerez test will stand Miguel Oliviera and Hafizh Syahrin in good stead for this weekend’s Le Mans MotoGP round.

Portugese rider and series rookie Oliveira has been able to stay on the back wheel of factory man Johann Zarco for a majority of the season and Poncharal thinks the stop/go nature of the Bugatti track will be better for the bike than Jerez.

“I really believe that after the tough Grand Prix in Spain, the test on Monday was quite productive,” said Poncharal.

“Thanks to KTM we received a few new items to test, that were all quite positive – not an immeasurable gain, but small gains and I think this is the way we will grow up together. We were quicker, had a more constant lap time, a better pace and more confidence for the riders.

Although we’ve never been here with the KTM RC16, from my point of view, it should be a little bit easier than what we faced in Jerez.

“The weather is going to be a big question mark, as usual, but this is something that is going to be the same for everyone, except that our two guys never rode one lap in the wet on the KTM.

“So I think everybody, and especially us, are looking forward to dry conditions and hopefully sunshine.”

It is a home race for Poncharal and the France-based Tech3 team but most eyes will be on rookie Fabio Quartararo who displayed podium pace at Jerez.

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