Ex-MotoGP rider de Puniet to replace injured Kallio as KTM tester

KTM has announced that it will replace the injured Mika Kallio with former test rider Randy de Puniet for the rest of 2018

Ex-MotoGP rider de Puniet to replace injured Kallio as KTM tester

Kallio has been KTM's test rider since the Austrian manufacturer entered MotoGP last year, but the Finn injured his knee at the Sachsenring and is set to be out of action for several months.

De Puniet did test work for KTM in the team's early development phase in 2016, along with riders such as Tom Luthi and Alex Hofmann.

De Puniet, now an FIM Endurance series regular, competed in MotoGP between 2006 and 2013 before joining Suzuki as a test rider and taking part in one last race in Valencia in 2014.

"I'm really happy that we could get Randy de Puniet for the next five months," said KTM head of sport Pit Beirer.

"He will be our test rider from now on because we still have a lot of parts to test and there are not many riders out there who can ride a MotoGP bike on that top level.

"I'm also not speaking only about lap time, I mean also how to behave on such a bike: they are rockets, they are dangerous, so you need a guy who knows how to behave with other riders on the track.

"I am really happy Randy comes back because he was part of our development programme and [it] will be also nice to hear his comments after he hasn't been on the bike for a while.

"[I'm] really happy that some of our problems are fixed right now."

KTM was also hit by Pol Espargaro's Brno injury, with the Spaniard skipping the Red Bull Ring round and at risk of missing the upcoming Silverstone race.

Beirer admitted that KTM has a problem finding a suitable replacement for Espargaro, but stressed that de Puniet would only race at Silverstone if he had a test to prepare prior.

"We spoke to Randy about it but he said, 'if I have a test before, I would do Silverstone, but just to get me out of nothing on this race bike, I don't want to do it'.

"I think [this is] right and I respect this answer. Also since we said in this press conference [on Friday] that we are looking for a replacement rider, Pol called me and said 'I need that seat for Silverstone so don't get nervous, I'm ready, I'll be there'.

"My biggest hope is that Pol recovers as quick as he is doing in the last two days.

"He had really big progress, the pain is going down. The nicest answer would be that Pol is back but let's see."

shares
comments
Marc VDS MotoGP rider Tom Luthi to step back to Moto2 in 2019

Previous article

Marc VDS MotoGP rider Tom Luthi to step back to Moto2 in 2019

Next article

MotoGP Austria: Crutchlow slams mishandling of dangerous conditions

MotoGP Austria: Crutchlow slams mishandling of dangerous conditions
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Mika Kallio
Teams AB Motoracing
Author David Gruz
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021