Kallio gets first taste of KTM MotoGP machine

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KTM has been out on track once again with their new RC16 MotoGP bike. Mika Kallio, who has been signed on as a test rider for the project had his first outing on the bike at Valencia. Kallio was joined by former MotoGP rider Alex Hoffman at the test.

The team assembled by KTM is one with plenty of Grand Prix experience with Mike Leitner key in the recruitment of the personnel. Having worked as crew chief to Dani Pedrosa Leitner brings a lot of authority to the project for his Grand Prix knowledge.

“I’m very impressed with what the team has achieved in the four weeks since the rollout,” said Leitner. “There is already an excellent team spirit and this means a quick response onsite followed by considered action at the factory. The GP circuit at Valencia had a lot more grip than Spielberg but even this worked very well with our package.

“I’m also happy with our current rider lineup. Both are working very professionally and are very analytical. Alex Hofmann delivers many useful inputs and even after one day Mika Kallio is already at a level where we can continue to work on improving the entire performance.”

For Kallio, a 125cc and 250cc race winner for KTM, the chance to rejoin the Austrian manufacturer was very appealing and he’s clearly excited about the project and glad to have gotten out on track on the bike.

“Clearly there was still a lot of question marks before the test, but I’m now very happy and I can go into the winter break with a good feeling,” said Kallio. “Alex and the team have already done impressive work, we had absolutely no problems and we’re already on a really high level. Nevertheless we still have a long way to go and I’m looking forward to the next test. Until then I’m going home to do some racing on ice to keep myself fit.”

The team plan to test again at the beginning of February.

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Steve English

By Steve English