KTM will be debuting in the premier class motorcycle racing championship in 2017. Their MotoGP project – The KTM RC16 will debut in the 2016 season closing race at Valencia as a wild-card. According to reports from KTM, the RC16 has made a ‘clear step forward’ during the Valencia test. The KTM RC16 had been tested previously on the track last November by test rider Mika Kallio.
This week, alongside fellow development rider Randy de Puniet, KTM’s MotoGP project crew chief Mike Leitner declared that clear progress had been made, despite changeable weather. There was rain on day 1, sunshine on day 2 and overcast and windy conditions on day 3.
Test Rider Mika Kallio agreed that there were good gains in terms of electronics and front end feel. He added that they were working towards finding the limits of the machine.
Mika Kallio said “When it comes to the feeling we discovered a couple of important issues on the final day, where we worked on the front and the balance of the motorcycle. In the meantime it is also positive how the electronics are working and even though we lost more than a day because of the weather, we were able to tick off all the points on the plan. I am feeling more and more comfortable on the bike and although we are still taking it rather easy on the track, step by step we are working towards the limit.”
Test rider Randy de Puniet who helped Suzuki get their MotoGP bike development added “For me this was a very important test, I am happy with the bike and we were able to try a lot of new parts. Unfortunately, because of the weather conditions and the other things we tested, I put in fewer laps than Mika. But with the experience we both gathered we will be able to start even better in the next test.”
Mike Leitner, whose official title is ‘Vice President Onroad’ agreed. “The team again made progress in the area of the electronics and we are able to get a better understanding of the tyres and to set the bike up accordingly,” As regards to the performance, we were able to take a clear step forward compared to the test here in November of last year.”
KTM will test again at the end of April. The 2016 MotoGP season will kick off under the floodlights at the Losail International circuit in Qatar on the 18th of March.
Motorcyclist, Traveler, Aerospace Engineer and your friendly neighborhood Batman. Suhas has been meandering on two wheels since 2008. His love for automobiles, aeroplanes and his passion for travel has brought him here. He's a RC plane hobbyist currently building a Supermarine Spitfire and the Associate Editor at TheMotorLife