KTM MotoGP team avoids the need to test in Malaysia

KTM believes the latest test of its MotoGP RC16 prototype at Jerez has saved it a trip to Malaysia

KTM MotoGP team avoids the need to test in Malaysia

The Austrian manufacturer is ramping up its testing programme before it enters MotoGP next year with Tech3 Yamaha riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.

It has completed its fifth and sixth tests of the year this month, at Brno with Mika Kallio and Karel Abraham, and then Jerez, where Kallio was joined by Randy de Puniet.

KTM used race rather than test-spec Michelin tyres for the first time at Jerez, similar to those selected for the Spanish Grand Prix in April.

Air and track temperatures of 30C and 50C also gave KTM the chance to test in hot conditions.

"The team and riders came directly from Brno and were also very motivated here," KTM's Mike Leitner said of the two days at Jerez.

"It has been a while since Randy sat on the motorcycle, but it was very important for us that he also noticed a clear improvement.

"That showed us that with Mika Kallio we have an extremely good test rider.

"In practical terms, because of the very hot conditions, we have saved ourselves a test in Malaysia, and this is positive for our development progress."

KTM's first trip to Brno in April was marred by cold weather.

Kallio, who will stay on as KTM's primary test rider next year, is buoyed by the progress that is now being made with the pace of the bike.

"The test days last week in Brno and now here in Jerez were very productive for the team," Kallio said.

"As rider I am very happy about the advancements that we've worked on together.

"The bike behaves on the track more and more as I would like it to do.

"It wasn't so easy for us to take big steps in the past couple of months and that makes it all the more important that the laptimes are now coming.

"We have made the decisive further development just at the right time, before we shortly test ourselves against the competition."

KTM's programme will continue at Misano with "another new test rider" later this month.

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Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Mitchell Adam
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