KTM's engine is MotoGP bike's strongest attribute, says Mika Kallio

KTM test rider Mika Kallio believes the Austrian manufacturer's engine is the strongest part of the package it is developing to enter MotoGP in 2017

KTM's engine is MotoGP bike's strongest attribute, says Mika Kallio

The former Ducati MotoGP rider and Moto2 race winner has been KTM's primary test rider since its RC16 prototype turned its first laps late last year.

He will also represent KTM in the Valencia season finale when he races as a wildcard, before Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro join the factory outfit next year.

KTM was buoyed that Kallio was within two seconds of the pace in July's Red Bull Ring MotoGP test, and the Finn believes its V4 engine is its strong suit.

"I think the best point we have been discussing many times is the engine," Kallio said.

"It's really powerful, nice to ride, the power delivery is really good. That's on a good level.

"The first time when I tested the bike immediately the base was there, and the base is good and the laptime was getting better.

"Of course there were a lot of things we needed to improve during testing and step by step we made a better bike.

"Finally a few weeks ago we demonstrated that we are on a good way and on a good level."

KTM launches its 2017 MotoGP livery

The engine is all new, but its chief designer Kurt Trieb says it has taken learnings to "avoid any mistakes we made back in 2005", when KTM was involved with Kenny Roberts' team with a 990cc powerplant for the first half of the campaign.

It will be paired with a tubular steel frame, a KTM characteristic but last seen in MotoGP with Ducati in 2008, with manufacturers favouring aluminium chassis since.

KTM has four more tests planned with a new-specification bike before appearing at Valencia, and Kallio says that incremental improvements rather than solving major weaknesses is the focus.

"Everywhere is where we need to improve," he said.

"We don't have any really weak points, but all of the things we need to improve everywhere.

"We need to improve a little bit the feeling of riding in the corners and maybe we are missing something on the exit side.

"This is normal, still the project is really new. Step by step, everything is getting closer to the package it will be."

shares
comments
Alvaro Bautista returns to Aspar Ducati team for 2017 MotoGP season

Previous article

Alvaro Bautista returns to Aspar Ducati team for 2017 MotoGP season

Next article

Analysis: Can Ducati's riders shape the 2016 MotoGP title fight?

Analysis: Can Ducati's riders shape the 2016 MotoGP title fight?
Load comments
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Plus

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Plus

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the circuit's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge Plus

How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge

The 2020 MotoGP season was an utterly enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if thought it the world championship was a poorer place without its biggest star Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Plus

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales in MotoGP - but won't fix his big problem Plus

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales in MotoGP - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021
The rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for MotoGP 2022 Plus

The rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for MotoGP 2022

The final pieces of the 2022 rider market have yet to be finalised as Petronas SRT faces several obstacles in replacing the retiring Valentino Rossi and Yamaha factory-bound Franco Morbidelli. SRT’s preferred option has been locked into a KTM deal he doesn’t want, while it’s other target is managed by Rossi himself and wanted at his VR46 team

MotoGP
Aug 10, 2021