The highly anticipated track debut of KTM's new MotoGP machine took place in Austria over the weekend. This is the latest step in their development towards making their premier class debut in 2017.
Alex Hoffmann gave the bike a shakedown test at the Red Bull Ring. The RC16 will be a four cylinder machine using a trellis frame. Photos revealed by KTM also revealed that the bike will use an Akrapovic exhaust, WP suspension and Brmbo brakes.
“Thursday was a very emotional moment," said Pat Beirer, KTM's Motorsport Director. "The start of the project on the racing circuit are just as important as any lap time. A very big thanks to Alex (Hofmann) and the entire team for the excellent performance. The feedback and the fact that we were already able to put in very many laps without any problems gives us a lot of motivation for the next steps in this long journey towards our entry into MotoGP in 2017”
For Hoffmann the experience of being involved with KTM has clearly been important. Having raced for Kawasaki and Ducati in MotoGP the German brings a wealth of experience to the table and along with Mika Kallio should play a key role in getting the team up to speed. For Hoffmann the experience of working with the team was almost as important as the on track product at the moment.
“I have already experienced very different premieres. A big respect for what KTM has already achieved in this extremely short time. I think you can not only see it in my face, but also among all those who have worked here with such enthusiasm and professionalism.”
The team has spent most of the last year developing the machine and testing it on dynos but being able to offer a test on a Grand Prix circuit showed the progress that they are making. Moving forward KTM have plans to continue running dyno testing to prove the reliability of parts but that more circuit based testing will take place in the coming months.