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KTM‘s getting ready to race, with its much anticipated RC16 MotoGP prototype undergoing its first shakedown test at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (UPDATE: KTM has released an official statement with more photos.)

Retired MotoGP racer Alex Hofmann was given the honor of taking the RC16 out on the track. Here he is screaming down the start/finish straight:

KTM Sporting Director and former Motocross World Champion Heinz Kinigadner also posted some photos of the RC16 on his personal Facebook page, giving us a good look at the prototype.

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“A big respect for what KTM has already achieved in this extremely short time,” says Hofmann. “I think you can not only see it in my face, but also among all those who have worked here with such enthusiasm and professionalism.”

The RC16 is powered by a V-4 engine mounted to a steel trellis frame. We can see an Akrapovic exhaust on the tail but we expect a second exhaust somewhere further down. KTM-owned WP provides the suspension while the brakes are from Brembo.

UPDATE: More images released by KTM reveal more details including the placement of the second exhaust on the right side.

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“There was of course a great deal of tension and pressure on the team and the roll-out took place earlier and on a larger scale than originally planned,” says Sebastian Risse, KTM’s technical director onroad. “The fact that it all went as smoothly as it did, and the data that we have been able to gather makes us very optimistic about the further development of the KTM RC16. Although we are still far removed from the detailed work, these three days were a very positive and instructive test for us.”

KTM isn’t supposed to enter the MotoGP championship until 2017 so there’s quite a bit of development to go. Along with Hofmann, KTM has signed Mika Kallio to help with the RC16’s development. Kallio and Hofmann will take part in another test later this year, possibly at the official test at Valencia following the season finale.

[Photos by Platzer Philip (KTM) and Heinz Kinigadner (Facebook)]