KTM had hoped it would be capable of scoring points in its first weekend as a full-time MotoGP competitor at the Qatar Grand Prix, Bradley Smith has admitted.
MotoGP's newest manufacturer endured a difficult time at Losail, remaining firmly stuck at the bottom of the timesheets for the majority of the weekend.
Combined practice times left Pol Espargaro and Smith starting at the very back of the grid, in 22nd and 23rd, with the former's best time 2.8 seconds slower than poleman Maverick Vinales.
Espargaro and Smith finished 16th and 17th, ahead of only Sam Lowes's Aprilia, but the fact his Spanish team-mate finished four seconds off the final point for 15th place encouraged Smith.
"The target was points, we were very close all considered," he said.
"Pol being 16th, me being 17th, the goal was to scrape one point so it's disappointing that we missed out on it.
"I think Pol was only about four seconds off, so it was a realistic situation.
"Had we had FP4 and qualifying, perhaps things would have been different.
"Up until now we didn't really have an idea of what the bike actually does over a race distance.
"We had no time to check during any of the tests, so we went into the unknown.
"But in the grand scheme of things, the plan was to get both bikes across the finish line, gain as much data as we possibly could."
Espargaro was similarly upbeat despite falling short of the points, saying that Qatar had been the hardest track for KTM during the pre-season.
"For sure, this track for us was our weakest track," he explained.
"We have tried this bike at Phillip Island, Valencia, Malaysia and Jerez - and this is the place where we were farthest [off the pace].
"We expected something worse in the race, honestly.
"We could be just 1.6s per lap [slower than the leaders] so we need to take the positive things.
"We finished four seconds off some Ducatis and one Honda [Tito Rabat], but it's a good start.
"The team is happy, KTM has made history [with its debut], and this is the most important."