Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 10 Mar 2016
KTM made a ‘clear step forward’ with their RC16 MotoGP machine in a recent test at Valencia with test riders Mika Kallio and Randy de Puniet.
As for many teams testing in Spain at this time of year, the weather at the eastern Spanish circuit didn’t fully play ball for the Austrian outfit, but they were still able to make progress with their new-from-the-ground-up GP racer.
KTM’s test team were able to work on a number of directions across the three days to make progress with the electronics, better understand the Michelin tyres and setting up the bike accordingly.
Using the team’s test at the Valencia circuit last November as a benchmark, project leader Mike Leitner says they made a ‘clear step forward’.
Former Honda and Suzuki MotoGP racer Randy de Puniet joins KTM as a test rider for 2016 alongside Moto2 runner-up Mika Kallio and Alex Hoffman.
“For me this was a very important test,” said the Frenchman. “I am happy with the b ike and we were able to try a lot of new parts. Unfortunately, because of the weather conditions and 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.
Kallio added: “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 comforotable on the bike and although we are still taking it easy on the track, step by step we are working towards the limit.”
The test team will be back in action towards the end of April, with a number of other tests also planned before the bike is expected to make its Grand Prix debut at Valencia later this year.