Pol Espargaro says that finishing sixth at Le Mans is simply stunning and an almost unbelievable achievement for KTM.
The result is the team’s best in dry conditions since they joined the series in 2017. Espargaro ended the race just +5.935s behind race winner, Marc Marquez. The team’s best result in MotoGP overall is Espargaro’s third place finish in the wet at Valencia last season.
The Spaniard had shown promising pace during the dry Free Practice sessions on Friday and was able to revert back to those settings on Sunday morning.
Espargaro made a fantastic start to the race, moving up several positions on the opening couple of laps. At one point, Espargaro found himself in fifth, however he would eventually lose out to Valentino Rossi.
Speaking about the achievement, Espargaro said:
“Simply a stunning result and almost unbelievable after less than two and a half years. We are showing that we are on the way. I am so proud of this project. We are there because we were fifth, and we were there during the whole race. The competition is so high here with the best riders in the world and we are just five seconds from the winner and that factory. It is amazing and for sure gives us wings to keep working and be better in the next races to keep fighting for the top ten.
“I had so much fun today and was on the limit from start to the end and it was amazing to see we were catching Vale in some places and Petrucci needed to hit me to overtake me. This makes me feel really proud.”
It was a positive weekend throughout the factory KTM garage. Johann Zarco equalled his best finish for the team so far in 13th spot.
In fact, all four KTM machines finished inside the points for the first time. Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira finished the race in 15th and 14th respectively for Tech 3 KTM.
Round six of the 2019 season takes place at Mugello on 31 May – 2 June 2019.