The KTM RC16 MotoGP project showed good pace this week in Austria, at the Red Bull Ring and in the hands of test riders Mika Kallio and Thomas Luthi. The Austrian factory might have a home-field advantage, but it certainly gained some praise from the MotoGP paddock.
And while the KTM RC16 will make its formal public debut during the Austrian GP, with a parade lap and display, it has been confirmed that we’ll see the MotoGP race in anger at the last MotoGP race of the season, the Valencia GP.
Mika Kallio confirmed the news to MotoGP.com today, saying that KTM will race as a wild card entry in the Valencia GP, before participating in the post-season testing that follows the final round on the calendar.
Expectations are high for the project, which already seems to be very well established. Two seconds behind the lap leaders at the Red Bull Ring, in the hands of Kallio and Luthi, is actually quite a good pace for KTM, and the brand is already comparing favorably to where Suzuki was at the same point in time.
The real measure of course won’t come from Austria, nor the Valenica race, but instead at the post-season test where Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will finally get their go on their race bike for the 2017 season.
We have a long ways to go until next year’s races, but until then, it will at least be refreshing to see yet another manufacturer competing in the MotoGP Championship.
Source: MotoGP.com; Photos: © Platzer Philip / KTM – All Rights Reserved