Lecuona questions KTM’s policy with young riders in MotoGP

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The Valencian was signed at the end of 2019 to go to the Tech3 team for 2020 when Brad Binder was promoted to the official KTM team after the scares of Johann Zarco.

Lecuone, who was 19 years old at the time, did not make his debut on the speed circuit until 2015, after a training career in supermotard, and at the start of the 2020 season he had contested 89 fewer grands prix than Binder.

Your season of debut in 2020 He finished three races from the end after contracting COVID-19 and only played 11 Grand Prix at seven circuits. Lecuona spent much of 2021 still learning, with an RC16 that in 2021 proved to be less competitive.

At only 21 years old, Lecuona leaves MotoGP and will be replaced by the latest young KTM star, Raul Fernández, who makes the jump to the premier class after a single season in Moto2 in which he was proclaimed runner-up behind Remy Gardner, who will also join Tech3. When asked by Motorsport.com if he believed that KTM’s policy with its young drivers was correct, Lecuona replied: “To be honest, I think it is not correct.”

“I think it is not correct, because if you believe in a pilot, you believe in him for one, two, three or four years. You can believe in the pilot, but you have to give him that time, that window so that he adapts, so that improve “.

“With a year, if you tell the pilot ‘you have to be there’ or pressure him … everyone needs time to adjust.”

“I think in this case, they wanted a very young rider who was fast with a very difficult bike. It is not a Ducati, it is not a Yamaha. We have worked during these two years, in some races it could go fast, or the KTM could go fast, but in many races the four KTMs were the last. “

“It’s not because I’m a better rider a week before or a week later, it’s because this bike is very difficult to understand and very difficult to work with.”

“If you don’t give time, you can’t do anything.”

Lecuona, that next year will race in the official Honda team in the WorldSBK, believes that MotoGP rookies now face a tougher challenge due to the competitiveness out there.

“Now the level in MotoGP is very high,” he said. “On many circuits we go very fast and many times I am 15th at seven tenths, with six factories.”

“So, with completely different bikes, we are in the same second. So the level is very high.”

“Therefore, not because you are 15th you are slow. You are seven tenths behind the first. I think we have never had this in MotoGP.”

“If you look at it, I don’t know if five years ago, if you were one second away, you ended up on the podium. Right now if you are one second away, you qualify last on the grid.”

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