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Smith starts well, fades through front tyre grip issues

Credit: Marcin Kin

Red Bull KTM had a difficult start to a much hyped 2018, with both riders failing to score points under floodlights at Losail. Bradley Smith finished the race in 18th, whilst Pol Espargaro was one of three retirements.

“I was really happy with the start of the race; I was aggressive and I made up some positions. I was in the mix and inside the points. For the first ten laps everything was working quite well and then I started to struggle with the front tyre and a lot of understeer and this was not something we had in any of the tests,” began Smith.

“The lap-times slowly dropped off. There were some corners where I was OK and others where I was just losing time. It was frustrating because I put myself in a good position to push along with the front guys. It was good to know more about where the KTM needs to improve by being with the other guys on track.”

Smith got to a high of 14th on Sunday evening, finishing 31.7s off the win, whereas last year, Smith achieved 17th in the race, but 37 seconds off a win. With work to do before the Argentine Grand Prix, there is no doubt that the KTM team will be more subdued with their performance in 2018 than the year previous.

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