MotoGP mid-season report: ‘Bittersweet start’ at KTM for Guidotti

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Francesco Guidotti may only have been at the helm of KTM for half a season but it’s been rollercoaster six months so far.

A podium for Brad Binder at Qatar’s inaugural race followed by victory at Mandalika for Miguel Olivera seemed to indicate the RC-16 was a contender for 2022 but with the pair only managing one fifth place apiece as their next highest result, the early success was short-lived.

“I mean, it’s a sweet and bitter start of the season,” Guidotti admitted at the halfway stage. “I mean, the start was really stunning, but then we faced some difficulties in some circuits.

“In the last five races, we performed pretty well. Our race results have been affected more from the qualifying, where we have to improve our performance, but the race pace is good and the effort of the riders… they are fully committed.

“We are now focused on how to improve our performance in qualifying to be more competitive during the race. We saw, where we’ve been able to start on the first row, we were able to fight for the podium, so this will be they key for performing better in the next races.”

“We also changed the way of working in the garage a little bit, the method of working from last year, so it’s some automatic that has to be more easy for the technicians in general,” he continued on the team’s steps forward. “We have to improve only qualifying, and then we will know better where we really are in the race.”

While the KTM factory line-up has already been announced - with Miguel Oliveira departing the Austrian manufacturer in favour of Jack Miller - the satellite team has yet to be confirmed. 2022 saw both Moto2 Champion Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez promoted from the intermediate class after a stunning battle for the title last year but the pair have endured a difficult rookie season at Tech3 so far.

“We already made an announcement for the factory team, which is a big move for us, and we need our time to make the decision with Herve and Tech3 for the line-up of the satellite team,” Guidotti confirmed. “There are still some decisions ongoing.”

One of those decisions is rumoured to be the return of Pol Espargaro after a challenging two years on the Repsol Honda. An experienced pair of hands may be just what the remaining rookie requires, and was missing in the opening 11 races.

“For sure, looking back is always easier to judge, easier to say, ‘This is wrong. This is right’. But I think in the moment when the decision was taken, the circumstances brought to this decision and to be honest, looks the best one at the moment,” he said of the two promotees.

“I think we have to consider a lot of factors to make the next decision for the satellite team. Of course there’s a lot of people and a lot of parts involved. First of all Herve, but yes, seems that we need more experience in that team to have the development of the bike. This can be a crucial key.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images