Just ten days after the last tests in Jerez, the KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team has successfully carried out another round on the attractive, high-speed Mugello Circuit. Tom Lüthi (SUI) was a test rider for the first time, joining regular test rider Mika Kallio (FIN) on the KTM RC16.
The team had ideal conditions, a near cloudless sky and no wind on the long start-finish straight of the circuit. Conditions allowed new things to be tested and the team was also able to compare performance against the bike of another manufacturer.
Mike Leitner (Vice President Onroad): “Over the past four weeks the team did again an excellent job and was at three different circuits in the same rhythm as in the Grand Prix. We were able to make good progress with the further development of the RC16 because of the different character of the circuits. This time, we had a different second test rider in Tom (Lüthi) and he was surprisingly good and quick to adjust to our MotoGP bike. Despite the intensive test work, Mika Kallio rode well and with stability and is doing a very good job. In Mugello we were on a high-speed circuit for the first time and another brand was also testing. We now have to apply what we have learned to the bike in the coming weeks.”
Sebastian Risse (Technical Director Onroad): “Mugello is a very special circuit that tested the bike in completely different ways. Naturally we had an eye on things like the straight and the top speed, which have a big influence. Anyway this circuit is made up of many corners. Some of what we previously tried at other circuits worked, on the other hand, many things did not, so we confirmed some of them, but now we have other aims. Things that were planned in the medium term we will now finish before the next tests and we should be also able to make a lot of progress in the next four weeks. You can analyze and compare a lot of things with our new bike and the standardized tires plus electronics, but naturally the best comparison is on the race track with others.”
Mika Kallio (Test Rider MotoGP): “It was good that we tested different setups on three very different circuits, especially here in Mugello we were able to gather more information about the chassis. This is very important for the factory engineers for the bike’s further development. The feeling was best for me in Jerez, but here we again needed a different setup. We know where we have to improve and the data and information we collect helps us to move onto the next step. The short breaks between the last three tests made it easier for me as a rider to find my rhythm. The next test will again have a new character and it’ll be cool to measure our progress compared to the others and to see where they are faster.”
Tom Lüthi (Test Rider MotoGP): “After I won the 125 World Championship title in 2005 I was able to do a few laps on a MotoGP bike on a half dry circuit, but this was for me the first real tests on such a bike. And despite the power, which you immediately feel, it was unbelievable how ride-able the KTM RC16 was from the first lap. Even though the long straights and the hills and corners of this circuit are probably not the easiest for a MotoGP rookie, I was quickly able to be in Mika’s range and learn a lot. My clear priority still lies with Moto2 but after these two days I’ll be less nervous, and I’ll look forward to the next tests side-by-side with the top guys in the premiere class.”
The KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team will test again in the middle of July at the Red Bull Ring together with opposing teams before the project is presented to the public for the first time in August at the Home Grand Prix in Spielberg.