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Jerez MotoGP Test: Oliveira: We need to change the character of the bike | MotoGP

KTM was the only MotoGP manufacturer not to feature inside the top twelve on the combined timesheets at the end of this week’s Jerez test.

After a tough season punctuated by several highs, not least victories for Miguel Oliveira in Mugello and Brad Binder in Austria, the Austrian factory used the final outing of the year to run through a range of potential components – including engine, electronics, chassis, suspension and aerodynamics – for the 2022 RC16.

“Today was busy! We played with a few different set-ups, couple of different parts, and found some things that felt quite good. We ran a different fairing and that had some positives and negatives,” said Binder, 13th on the overall timesheets.

“There were some points where it helps and others where it made things worse. I think the guys need to go back to the factory and keep working at it. I’m sure at Sepang well have different shapes to try.

“Overall, we got some good information for the team to put the full package together for the Sepang test.”

Oliveira, who was 16th fastest, added: “There were a couple of things in today’s program that were quite significant and we managed to take some clear conclusions. It’s true that at the moment we don’t have a final package to put together. It’s just some different parts, separated at different times.

“The team worked a lot today. Everyone was tireless, working to get the maximum out of each run and each piece we tried and hopefully with this information the factory will be able to make some significant changes for the current bike and that we can come up with a good package for Sepang.”

KTM’s 2021 season, its first since losing technical concessions, began and ended modestly.

The opening five rounds brought a best of fifth before a strong mid-season run of four podiums (including the two wins) in six races. But results then tailed off again, with a high of sixth during the last seven rounds.

“We need to come-up with the [new] bike and then take it to the limit and see in the next tests what we can do with it,” Oliveira explained.

“At the moment this [prototype] bike is very similar to this year’s bike. The character is the same and we need to change the character of the bike, to be able to compete with our opponents at the moment.

“So these two days were quite tough in terms of conditions, so the lap times don’t really reflect our work and potential. But hopefully we’ll be able to finalise it and do it better in February.”

Both Binder and Oliveira have spoken of a lack of ‘drive grip’ this season.

“We lose a lot of stability out of the corners and waste potential power to the ground, so we cannot use the power. The tyre is moving quite a lot. It’s not on rails as it was last year in 2020,” Oliveira explained during a tough home Portimao round earlier this month, at a track where he had dominated in 2020.

“It’s a different bike [this year]. That is true. That opens the window for us to think about what to do [change]. The reality is we don’t have a bike strong enough to challenge for the positions where we want to be challenging. So that’s what we need to do.”

As well as Tech3’s new rookie line-up of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez, both of KTM’s factory test riders, Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio were also on track.

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