Koyama returns to Red Bull KTM for Malaysian GP

2008-10-18 04:45
Diminutive Japanese rider Tomoyoshi Koyama has returned to the Red Bull KTM factory team for the Malaysian 125 cc GP and was the fastest KTM rider on the grid for Sunday's race.

Koyama, who rode for Team ISPA KTM Aran for the 2008 season returned to the official factory team when he was replaced by Spanish rider Enrique Jerez after the Japanese Grand Prix. Koyama clocked his fastest time in the only dry qualifying session for the 125 cc category on Friday afternoon, finishing in seventh place, which became his grid position for the race. The 25-year-old rider finished third in the 2007 season on a Red Bull KTM factory bike. Koyama's Red Bull KTM team-mate Randy Krummenacher suffered the most among KTM's eight rider line-up from the unpredictable weather conditions. The Swiss teenager battled with some engine problems on the first timed practice and only finished in thirty second position, which leaves him on the last row of the grid.

Crash puts Marquez out of Malaysian GP
Spanish teenager Marc Marquez, who has been confirmed as one of three official KTM 125 riders for next year, suffered a nasty crash in the first 125 cc free practice session on Friday morning and was forced to withdraw from the Malaysian Grand Prix. Marquez got hit by another rider in the closing stages of the session. He lost control of his Repsol KTM 125 and his left foot got caught between rear wheel and chassis of his bike. The 15-year-old could only be freed when his mechanics deflated the tyre and took the wheel off, but luckily, the injuries to the young rider, considered a great hope for the future, were not as severe as expected. Marquez did not suffer any fractures but still decided to fly home to Barcelona for more medical checks before a final decision is made about his participation at the last round at Valencia. "It's painful, but it could have been a lot worse. Considering what happened to me, I'm still lucky", he said before leaving the Sepang paddock on F ridayafternoon.

German KTM rookie Jonas Folger,a participant of Spain's Red Bull MotoGP academy,is one of the Wild Card entries at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and qualified in twenty ninth position.

Tomoyoshi Koyama (Red Bull KTM 125 - 7th in 2.15,922)
"I am very happy to be back in the factory team. We found the right direction with the set-up of the bike immediately and the way the team works and the bike feels was an instant boost to my confidence. We've tried to put all the small set-up improvements of yesterday and this morning into one good package for this afternoon, but then the rain started and nobody was able to go any faster. But even though, I am very confident for the race!"

Randy Krummenacher (Red Bull KTM 125 - 32nd in 2.19,735)
"Yesterday I had some problems with my engine cutting out, but this morning, the bike was much better, and if it hadn't rained in the afternoon, we certainly would have conquered a much better grid position. I was able to run in Koyama's group of riders. There was just a little bit missing, otherwise I would have been as fast as him. My aim now is to make a few more adjustments in the warm-up session, and then to jump towards the front runners with a good start. I want to be up with the other KTM riders and battle it out with them!"

Bartol commitment to 125cc in 2009
Technical Director Harald Bartol, commenting on KTM's announcement that it will only participate in the 125 cc category next season because of the uncertainty about the future of the class said: "Now we will concentrate all our efforts on the 125 cc class, in a hard-fought category that is alive, healthy and with a longer future ahead. We will participate with three factory riders, and our goal is to further improve the performance of our bikes, and to be a force to be reckoned with when next season starts!"

Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG

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