MotoGP: Is KTM’s New Chassis The Final Piece of the Puzzle?
KTM has rolled out a brand new chassis for this weekends Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, which has seen the Austrian firm return to the front of the MotoGP field, but is it the missing piece in what is a complicated 2021 puzzle?
Brno, Austria and Portimao. Those were the circuits that saw KTM reign in 2020, securing three victories over the shortened 14-round season, but it’s fair to say that 2021 hasn’t gone according to the Austrian manufacturer’s plan.
Miguel Oliveira, a two-time MotoGP race winner, and team-mate Brad Binder, a single MotoGP race winner, have not had the greatest of starts to their MotoGP campaign as front tyre woes have hampered their momentum so far in 2021. The team came into the new season full of confidence as 2020 showed they have a package capable of winning races. The KTM team promoted Miguel Oliveira into the factory team and was confident that he, alongside Binder, would prove to be a big threat in 2021.
However, as we head into round six, KTM has failed to score a podium finish. Their best result of the season so far came in the form of Brad Binder and Danilo Petrucci, who both shared a fifth-place finish in the Portuguese and French Grands Prix.
But for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, KTM has rolled out a brand new chassis as well as new fuel. New fuel might sound crazy, but it isn’t. The minor fuel change has given KTM a few extra horses in their motor as, during free practice three, Binder equalled the All-Time Top Speed Record recorded by Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco earlier this season.
Their new chassis has brought smiles back to the factory garage as Binder and Oliveira secured a second and third row start for the Grand Prix in Mugello. The duo has also shown that they have a strong race pace, plus Brad Binder always find something a little bit extra come Sunday afternoon.
KTM suffered with the new Michelin tyre after the French tyre manufacturer removed their favoured compound. However, using this chassis upgrade, it is clear they have found their way around the struggles with the front tyre, improving feel, stability and grip.
It will be exciting to see how the Orange machines get on come Sunday launching from Sixth (Binder) and Seventh.(Oliveira)
Featured image: MotoGP.com