‘Marked increase in performance’ for KTM

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KTM have seen a ‘marked increase in performance’ for their new RC16 MotoGP machine at this week’s test at Brno, according to project head Mike Leitner. The rain-hit two-day test saw Mika Kallio and Randy de Puniet complete only one day on track.

But despite the weather delays, Leitner, Dani Pedrosa’s former crew chief, says that the team were able to take something from the test and the improved pace of the machine Bradley Smith will ride in 2017.

“The team markedly increased the performance and there were no problems. Following both tests at the beginning of the year, everyone came to the circuit even better prepared and they were all very focused on their tasks.

“A very big compliment to both our test riders who did an excellent job despite suboptimal weather conditions. This meant we also managed to complete a good program on the technical side.”

Kallio, who has been involved with the project since it’s first outings on track, concurred with Leitner, admitting that while they didn’t get as much progress as they wanted, they’re nonetheless in a good place with the machine.

“First day aside, we can be satisfied with the progress we achieved. We adjusted our program again for the second day and tried a few things in terms of ergonomics, as well as more work on the engine and the mapping.

“Unfortunately, with only a constant ten degrees air temperature it was too cold for good grip, but we have a clear plan for the next test and we know what we have to do to improve.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer