KTM is going to make its debut in MotoGP from the 2017 season with its Factory Racing Team. Ahead of its entry in the premier class championship the Austrian bike maker has officially unveiled its MotoGP racebike during the Australian GP at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The premiere of the team will see seasoned riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, currently a part of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. The two will join official test rider Mika Kallio and Alex Hoffman, who is working with the project development team.
Commenting on the unveiling of the KTM RC16 race bike, Mika Kallio said, “The first time I was on the bike I felt the basis was there and the lap times were already on a good level. We have needed to improve a lot of things and we did this. I think a few weeks ago we demonstrated to everyone that we’re on a good level. It was good to be on the bike and I really enjoyed all the laps I did. We are already quite close to our competitors and step-by-step we are improving. I would say the engine on this bike is already good and now we have four more tests before Valencia.”
According to the company, while testing the KTM RC16 bike at the MotoGP Red Bull Ring back in July, Mika Kallio was just 1.951 seconds slower than the fastest man on track, Andrea Iannone. The KTM Factory Racing Team also had some demo laps ahead of the Austrian GP and will continue on to Misano in Italy for further tests after next weekend. This will be the first of a total of four tests before Kallio participates in the season finale as a wild card entry in Valencia.