KTM's MotoGP machine made a 'clear step forward' during a test at Valencia - the circuit where the Austrian factory plans to make its race debut, as a wild-card entry, at the final round of the 2016 season.
The RC16 had previously been on track at the Spanish circuit last November, when Mika Kallio made his debut on the machine.
The Finn was again on track this week, alongside fellow development rider Randy de Puniet, who completed his first RC16 laps during the factory's opening 2016 test at Jerez.
Despite changeable weather - rain on day one, sunshine on day two, overcast and windy conditions on day three - KTM's Mike Leitner declared clear progress was made.
“The team again made progress in the area of the electronics and we are able to get a better understanding of the tyres and to set the bike up accordingly,” said Leitner, whose official title is now 'Vice President Onroad'. “As regards to the performance, we were able to take a clear step forward compared to the test here in November of last year.”
Kallio agreed that the main gains were in terms of electronics and front-end feeling, adding that they are 'working towards the limit'.
“When it comes to the feeling we discovered a couple of important issues on the final day, where we worked on the front and the balance of the motorcycle. In the meantime it is also positive how the electronics are working and even though we lost more than a day because of the weather, we were able to tick off all the points on the plan. I am feeling more and more comfortable on the bike and although we are still taking it rather easy on the track, step by step we are working towards the limit.”
de Puniet, who previously helped get the Suzuki GSX-RR ready for its MotoGP debut, declared:
“For me this was a very important test, I am happy with the bike and we were able to try a lot of new parts. Unfortunately, because of the weather conditions and the other things we tested, I put in fewer laps than Mika. But with the experience we both gathered we will be able to start even better in the next test.”
Suzuki also chose Valencia for a wild-card race debut (with de Puniet as the rider) ahead of its full-time MotoGP return last season.
KTM's next MotoGP test will be at the end of April.