Valencia 'race zero' for KTM's new MotoGP programme

KTM technical director Sebastian Risse says the manufacturer's MotoGP debut at Valencia this weekend will simply be an extended test, before entering the championship full-time in 2017

Valencia 'race zero' for KTM's new MotoGP programme

Mika Kallio will ride KTM's RC16 as a wildcard, with current Tech3 Yamaha pair Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro signed for the full programme next season.

While KTM has tested largely in private since running for the first time last November, it was buoyed by its form against the bulk of the field in a test at the Red Bull Ring in July.

However, rather than setting expectations for Valencia, Risse says procedures will be the focus.

"We are not calling this race one for the RC16 but 'race zero'," he said.

"It is extended testing; not only on the technical side of things.

"To run a race team is beyond the technical and so there are things we also want to prove that cannot be done in a test situation - however much you go testing.

"So this is the first real test of the team, in that aspect.

"So when the lights go out at Valencia, we will get a real experience of all our technical work and team preparation.

"Nothing beats the pressure of a race to create a real test."

While KTM's current testing machine is its first MotoGP bike, it had a shortlived involvement in the class in 2005 as an engine supplier to Kenny Roberts' outfit.

Risse says KTM has drawn on experience from a range of projects, such as its Moto3 programme that sealed its third title in 2016 with Brad Binder, including sticking with its regular steel trellis frame, rather than the aluminium frames commonly used in MotoGP.

The bike raced at Valencia by Kallio will essentially be an update on the original prototype, before a new bike is introduced this winter.

"When you are basically starting from scratch, you have to give the right priorities to certain technical aspects before you've even been on track," Risse added.

"There are so many things to consider, and all this has to come together in the right way.

"Normally the best way to find out if something is an improvement is to go out on track test and prove it. Everything else you can talk about for hours and days.

"But in the end, proof on track is for me the only way to make sure that you are going in the right direction.

"Of course in the first phase with the RC16 this was not possible as there was no bike. So you have to do it in a different way; benchmark a lot.

"Try and understand why other manufactures have done this or done that to help give you the right approach to the problem.

"It's not about copying, but understanding the reasons why or why not, and then from there we needed to find our own way."

shares
comments
Jorge Lorenzo vows to learn from tough 2016 MotoGP season
Previous article

Jorge Lorenzo vows to learn from tough 2016 MotoGP season

Next article

Mika Kallio says KTM won't be cut adrift in its debut MotoGP race

Mika Kallio says KTM won't be cut adrift in its debut MotoGP race
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve Plus

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022 Plus

The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022

OPINION: MotoGP will get its own Drive to Survive-style series in 2022, airing on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a much-needed grab at the mainstream for MotoGP, but a paradigm shift in the series highlighted by one of its leading stars must be embraced and not overshadowed by a desire to replicate DTS’s popcorn drama

MotoGP
Jan 10, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Plus

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Plus

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Eight different riders won races across an ultra-competitive 2021 MotoGP season. Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and the world championship's returning king. Autosport picks out the year's 10 best riders

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Plus

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021