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KTM tap de Puniet and Luthi for MotoGP testing duties

Randy de Puniet and Thomas Luthi are added to KTM's testing roster ahead of its much anticipated move into MotoGP next season.
Randy de Puniet and Thomas Luthi have been added to KTM Racing's testing roster ahead of the manufacturer's return to MotoGP in 2017.

Having focused on the feeder 250GP and Moto3 classes in recent years, KTM will step up to the premier class next season with its dubbed RC16 prototype, which has already turned in testing laps in the hands of Mika Kallio and Alex Hofmann.

However, just as the current manufacturers focus their preparations on the upcoming 2016 season, Austrian firm KTM has gone ahead signalled its intentions for next year by announcing two new additions to its testing ranks in de Puniet and Luthi.

Having taken charge of development for Suzuki in preparation for its return to MotoGP last year, de Puniet – without a ride after a dismal single season in World Superbikes – looks set to focus his efforts on the new KTM project, while Luthi will dovetail commitments alongside his Moto2 ride.




The KTM RC16 has tested at both the Red Bull Ring and in Valencia.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mika Kallio tests the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike in Valencia
De Giannantonio, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
De Giannantonio, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Binder, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Smith, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Luthi, Zarco, Rins, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Luthi, Zarco, Rins, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Luthi, Zarco, Rins, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Luthi, Rins, FIM MotoGP Awards, Valencia Moto2 2016
Quartararo, De Puniet, Moto2, Valencia MotoGP, 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016
Luthi, Valencia Moto2 race 2016

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TrueFan

January 23, 2016 7:57 AM

SoSlo:
TrueFan: ...
just out of curiosity, can you state 3 reasons why you think Suzuki's return has been a success? ...
They've developed a bike that handles very well. That's the hard part. They know a couple of its obvious shortcomings, and they can work on them. It has had good results considering that it lacked a seamless gearbox (compared to its rivals). They'll add a seamless this year. It's only a few tenths a lap, but it can make a lot of difference to track position. They had to turn the power down due to engine reliability issues. Now they have a season of racing data, and the engines that produced it, they can pull them apart and design mods to address the points of failure. That's pretty good for a completely new bike against richer, well sorted rivals.

TrueFan

January 22, 2016 3:32 PM

Along with everyone else involved, you'd have to say the Suzuki return to MotoGP has been a success, and RDP played a crucial role. Good call by KTM to hire him. His experience will be well worth there trouble. With Kallio, Tom Luthi and Hoffman, there's a good bank of experience to draw on. It will be nice if they can replicate their success in Moto3, although the competition at this level is a tad harder to crack.



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