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KTM MotoGP Team Pleased With Latest Test Results From Jerez

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As the calendar marches closer to the debut race in Spielberg on August 14, KTM continues developing the RC16 MotoGP weapon beneath test riders Mika Kallio and Randy de Puniet at Jerez.  Following close on the heels of a Brno test, both riders were pleased with the state of the machine, and claimed good lap times at the famous circuit in southern Spain.

The ambitious plans of KTM boss Stefan Pierer in MotoGP are no secret, as he seeks consistent top 10 finishes for his bike during the debut season next year. How good will the KTM be? Time will tell, but power should not be an issue as KTM claim 270 horsepower was already on hand earlier this year. With the recently signed talented duo of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith on board, top 10 finishes are definitely a possibility from the get-go.  Here is a press release from KTM on the recent Jerez test:

After less than a week’s pause since the KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team conducted tests in Brno, the team moved straight to the south of Spain to continue their development work. In contrast to the earlier unlucky conditions during three days of tests in Jerez in February, it was almost tropical weather that awaited the two main test riders Mika Kallio (FIN) and Randy de Puniet (FRA). This was the sixth test with Kallio, with de Puniet joining him this time on the second KTM RC16.

On Thursday and Friday the air and track temperatures were a constant 30 and 50 degrees Celsius and with a clear blue sky. This allowed the team to confirm last week’s development steps on a different circuit and with an additional rider, but it also permitted the testing of material under extreme conditions for durability and performance.

Mike Leitner (Vice President Onroad): “The team and riders came directly from Brno and were also very motivated here. It has been a while since Randy (de Puniet) sat on the motorcycle, but it was very important for us that he also noticed a clear improvement. That showed us that with Mika Kallio we have an extremely good test rider. In practical terms, because of the very hot conditions, we have saved ourselves a test in Malaysia, and this is positive for our development progress.”

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director Onroad): “Our focus here was mainly on being able to confirm the development steps we made in Brno. However, the conditions, especially on day one allowed us to shed light on how our material would work under extreme conditions, and we had no big problems. We also had tires from Michelin for the first time, which are very similar to those used in the Grand Prix on this circuit. Because of this we were able to work on the setup in different ways, and we saw a significant improvement in laps times compared to those from the earlier tests in spring.”

Mika Kallio (Test Rider MotoGP): “The test days last week in Brno and now here in Jerez were very productive for the team. As rider I am very happy about the advancements that we’ve worked on together. The bike behaves on the track more and more as I would like it to do. It wasn’t so easy for us to take big steps in the past couple of months and that makes it all the more important that the lap times are now coming. This is also good for the team’s motivation. I think we have made the decisive further development just at the right time, before we shortly test ourselves against the competition.”

Randy de Puniet (Test Rider MotoGP): “It’s been some time since I put in laps on the bike at the first test in Brno at the end of April. The team has done excellent work and the motorcycle is very much improved – the engine, chassis, electronics – these have all been more developed. We were also able to make further improvements here, and put in good lap times. For me it was the best test so far. I enjoyed both days on the bike and I’m ready for Aragon, where I will probably ride next.”

The KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team is now carrying out intensive development on the KTM RC16 in the new motorsport building in Munderfing (Austria) before tests continue in Italy in two week’s time on a new circuit and with another new test rider.


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24 Comments

  1. Jeremy in TX says:

    MotoGP 2017 should certainly be interesting with KTM coming online, musical chairs being played by so many riders and the Moto2 hotshots joining the party.

  2. Provologna says:

    Me thinks typing “claimed good lap times” and posting numbers for readers to attach their own adjectives are likely two very different things.

    Me also thinks an OEM can have the all-time worlds best record in dirt and Moto3, while simultaneously nurturing a podium-less record in MotoGp for a
    Very.
    Long.
    Time.

    At least a few riders were untouchable in a class only one step removed (WSB, Biaggi, Spies), but were busts in the Big Boy Pants Class.

    Moto3 is a pretty big step below even WSB (current WSB poles are mid-pack MotoGP…Moto3 is two grids removed from MotoGP).

    Wishing KTM the best, but not expecting a podium soon. Suzuki won GP500 Championship. I’d bet Suzuki’s pavement Championships dwarf KTM’s.

    • Pacer says:

      I think you are underestimating KTM. They win by the rules in place. You can’t compare Moto3 to WSB like that. Also they are skipping WSB because the don’t want to make a road version of their race bike. I think they recognize that we want to ride a road bike and root for the race bike.

    • guu says:

      One of only two riders to win his first race, 12 other wins and 58 podiums in seven years often on sub-par bikes (Max Biaggi) is a “bust”?!? Is anything less than a championship a bust or do you have to be a Rossi to not be a bust?

  3. Skybullet says:

    Another well funded and staffed team will only make competition better. Good luck KTM!

  4. Tyler says:

    As a recent convert to the orange Kool-Ade team, I am excited for this development. Maybe I am also crossing my fingers for an EBR team in the next 5 years…

    • Pacer says:

      EBR? Are you drinking electric Kool-Aid?:)

    • Tony says:

      You’re drinking the Kool Aid alright!!!

    • Fred_M says:

      I’m an EBR fan and owner of two Buells (XB12Ss and 1125CR). While I have the utmost respect for Erik Buell’s engineering talent, going into World Superbike was one of the biggest mistakes that EBR made.

      EBR makes one of the best sport bikes for street riders, with the kind of power delivery and torque spread that makes them a joy in the real world. But that doesn’t translate well into a race bike, where the height of the horsepower curve is more important than the area under the torque curve. Conversely, the bikes that win at World Superbike don’t work that well as sport bikes for the street, explaining the popularity of bikes like the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR ABS, KTM Super Duke 1290R, and Ducati Monster 1200R.

      • Dave says:

        They did it for a marketing initiative and R&D. With Hero dollars behind it, it didn’t weaken EBR.

        Besides, are the Tuono V4, KTM 1290R and Ducati Monster 1200R popular? I never see them out on the road and I bet they sell in VERY small numbers. In this way, they are marketing efforts, too. A couple of halo products to drive the image and sales of the bikes at price points where they sell more volume.

  5. Will Parker says:

    Yeah the more the merrier. However, I put little faith in them being able to compete with the likes of Yamaha and Honda…

    • Dave says:

      KTM is dominant in off road racing, as well as very competitive in Moto3. I can’t imagine they’d come into this without a clear understanding of what was necessary to be competitive.

    • TF says:

      “However, I put little faith in them being able to compete with the likes of Yamaha and Honda…”

      Sounds like something Jeremy McGrath might have said.

      • Will Parker says:

        Really?! Thnx! He was an Awesome talent..

        • TF says:

          Greatest SX rider ever……until he tried to race a KTM. A lot has changed since then

        • TF says:

          ….until he tried to race a KTM. A lot has changed since then.

          • Dave says:

            Jeremy McGrath didn’t ever actually race a KTM. He signed for them for the 2003 season but never started a race on it.

            I recall him switching away from Honda to Suzuki (97′?) with disastrous results which were basically, the most dominant rider, who almost couldn’t lose on a Honda, suddenly couldn’t win on a Suzuki.

    • Vrooom says:

      Suzuki came up to speed pretty quickly, but I don’t see Pol and Bradley beating Rossi, Lorenzo or Marquez any time soon.

  6. Jonny Blaze says:

    Which type of engine configuration are they using, V4?

  7. redbirds says:

    Suzuki has become very competitive in a relatively short time and I wish the same for KTM. Having more factory involvement is a good thing for the sport. I would like to see Kawasaki get back in and see Aprilia improve to a competitive point. The more competition the better.

  8. Pacer says:

    I am not sure why, but I am rooting for KTM.

  9. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Hmmm.
    Wonder what Honda Motor Co. thinks about the RC designation.

    Are they allowed and breaks in the rules?