News 24 Jun 2016

Luthi the latest to sample KTM MotoGP entry at Mugello

Current Moto2 contender gets taste of RC16 in guest outing.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Moto2 front-runner Tom Luthi has completed a test aboard KTM Factory Racing’s RC16 MotoGP bike at Mugello in Italy, joining regular test rider Mika Kallio for the outing.

Just 10 days following its most recent test at Jerez, KTM was back on track for further development ahead of 2017 when it debuts in the championship with Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.

“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,” Luthi explained. “And despite the power, which you immediately feel, it was unbelievable how rideable 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 premier class.”

KTM on-road technical director Sebastian Risse said: “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.”

The KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team will test again in the middle of July at the Red Bull Ring together with series regulars, before the project is presented to the public for the first time in August at its home GP in Spielberg.