While KTM's MotoGP project was grabbing headlines with the signing of Pol Espargaro at Catalunya on Thursday, its technical preparations were continuing on track, at Brno.
As at the previous Misano test, Mika Kallio and Karel Abraham were at the handlebars of the RC16, this time clocking up more than 300 laps without any problems in better-than-forecast weather.
“For me this test in Brno was a bit better than in Misano,” Kallio declared. “The bike is beginning to behave more and more as I would like it to do and is easier to ride. Firstly because the electronics are engaging better and secondly because we made changes to the front fork and the bike is easier for me to steer.
“But currently I see the greatest potential in the chassis, where we have again tested a lot and we now have a better understanding how the individual changes impact on each other. There is still a long way to go and usually nothing happens overnight, but we are moving forward with each round of tests.”
Technical Director Sebastian Risse added: “The preparation time between the tests was not long but we were able to react and also work on specific things here in Brno. That is, on the one hand we were able to make tangible progress concerning the rigidity of the swing arm and the frame. On the other, there was further development in the area of electronics, which needs normal track conditions and tyres.”
“Both riders were very satisfied with the technicians' work and both noticed a clear advancement,” confirmed Mike Leitner, KTM's Onroad vice president. “We now have to confirm these improvements in the next test [in Spain], where Randy de Puniet will again be back with us and will be able to provide additional feedback.”
Espargaro completes the 2017 KTM race line-up alongside current Tech 3 team-mate Bradley Smith. Kallio will continue as test rider.