KTM complete first 2016 MotoGP test

Test riders de Puniet, Kallio and Hofmann all happy with their performance

THE KTM test team have completed their first test after spending several days in Jerez as continuing the development process of the new RC16 machine. 

Thursday and Friday saw the two main test riders, Mika Kallio and Alex Hofmann, test the KTM RC16 on a very wet track at the popular Spanish circuit in Southern Spain. On the third test day Randy de Puniet changed places with Hofmann to ride the second KTM RC16 in the afternoon where he then experienced his first laps on the KTM MotoGP prototype on a dry track.  

KTM's front man and Pedrosa's ex-Crew Cheif Mike Leitner said: 'Unfortunately this time we had less luck with the weather, but we still made good use of the changing conditions to work at the circuit for the first time with both of our crews and partly also under time pressure.

'We gathered our first experience in the wet and were therefore able to take important steps in matters of the electronics and ride-ability. Randy de Puniet gave us very important input for the further development of the KTM RC16 on the third and last day, which was in the dry.'

After helping Suzuki prepare for their return to the MotoGP World Championship with the GSX-RR, Randy de Puniet has begun a new adventure as the test rider for KTM where his GP experience is being used to help to help develop the RC16 prototype. This was also de Puniet’s first time back on a MotoGP prototype after spending a season in the World Superbike Championship.

'As I haven’t sat on MotoGP machine for more than a year, I immediately felt very good on the bike,' explained the Frenchman 'As usual we first adjusted it to suit my personal needs. Then in the short time left we tried a few things with the electronics. We are now well prepared for the next test in a few weeks.'

de Puniet had his first run on the bike at Jerez de la Frontera alongside KTM's other test riders Mika Kallio and Alex Hofmann. 

Kallio, former Moto2 rider, confirmed what the KTM test team had been focusing on: 'After we worked on the ergonomics and the setup in extremely difficult conditions in the first two days, we could confirm many changes in the improved conditions in the third day.

'We tested some things with the traction and wheelie control, also the suspension elements from WP and the various options for the triple clamp. I am very happy with the performance and I think we were again able to give the technicians important feedback.'

The KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team will continue to develop the KTM RC16 machines before their next test begins in March.