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KTM completes final test before MotoGP debut

"Perhaps we could even pick up one or other point, and when everything goes perfectly maybe even a bit more is possible" – Mika Kallio on KTM Valencia wild-card.
KTM has completed its final test before making its race debut in the Valencia season finale.

Fittingly, the three-day test was held at the same Spanish circuit with Mika Kallio - who will race the RC16 next month - and Randy de Puniet on track for the new machine's twelfth development test this year.

“Everyone in the team can really be proud about the work this year but in motorsport we never really reach the finish," Kallio said. "Luckily we can see that there are still many possibilities for improvements. I would say our level is good."

Michele Pirro was also present, trying Ducati's GP17 for the first time.

"With Ducati here we had a good reference again but the race will show us where we really are. Naturally I'll be pushing even more with the fans at the circuit and riding with all our competition but our goal must be to see the finish line," Kallio said.

"Perhaps we could even pick up one or other point, and when everything goes perfectly maybe even a bit more is possible. Our own demands are extremely high and so are the expectations from outside but we have to be realistic, and we have to continue to concentrate on our work.”

The RC16 will start free practice at Valencia having completed 35 days of track testing.

“We have to see the wild-card start in the last Grand Prix as another test," insisted Mike Leitner, Vice President Onroad. "It will be yet another new situation where we can improve our times under different conditions.

"It would be ideal if we can finish the race without problems and get the best possible performance. However it will be the first Grand Prix for the KTM RC16 project where the other teams have already had racing experience all season long.”

Two days after the Valencia race, KTM will be back on track for the official post-season test, when 2017 race riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will ride the Austrian machine. A three-day test at Jerez will follow the week after.

“I think our three days here have shown that the package works well. As regards to speed, for that we have to get to know competition even better," commented technical director Sebastian Risse.

"From a technical perspective we will have a shared focus for the four weeks between now and the race. This is because immediately after we have our first tests with our MotoGP riders for next season, and for this we need a lot of parts.

"On the other hand, we naturally want to build the best possible bike for Mika by drawing on the experience we have, and to make sure we're able to provide the necessary spare parts so we can go to Valencia with a clear conscience.”

Tagged as: Kallio , KTM

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