KTM Motorcycles in MotoGP
With the return of Suzuki and Aprilia in MotoGP, the premier-class grid has grown to five manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati are the other three).
This number is one step closer to six as KTM completed a three-day shakedown of its V4 prototype, the RC16. KTM plans to enter MotoGP in 2017, and has begun some initial shakedowns of its RC216.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team RC16 was piloted by test rider Alex Hofmann during a three-day test at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, which makes its debut on the 2016 MotoGP Championship.
Hofmann was alone in the test; the second test rider, Moto2’s Mika Kallio, will participate in further testing planned before year’s end. KTM, which is based in Austria, says the test went according to planned.
Pit Beirer (KTM Motorcycles Motorsport Director): “Thursday was a very emotional moment, not only for me but also for the company, and I believe for many KTM fans in Austria and all over the world. This, and the start of the project on the racing circuit are just as important as any lap time. A very big thanks to Alex (Hofmann) and the entire team for the excellent performance. The feedback and the fact that we were already able to put in very many laps without any problems gives us a lot of motivation for the next steps in this long journey towards our entry into MotoGP in 2017.”
Sebastian Risse (KTM Motorcycles Technical Director Onroad): “There was of course a great deal of tension and pressure on the team and the roll-out took place earlier and on a larger scale than originally planned. The fact that it all went as smoothly as it did, and the data that we have been able to gather makes us very optimistic about the further development of the KTM RC16. Although we are still far removed from the detailed work, these three days were a very positive and instructive test for us.”
Alex Hofmann (KTM Motorcycles Test Rider MotoGP): “What shall I say? Just take a look at my boots and the bike. They both look like new. I have already experienced very different premieres. A big respect for what KTM has already achieved in this extremely short time. I think you can not only see it in my face, but also among all those who have worked here with such enthusiasm and professionalism.”