KTM is all set to compete in the MotoGP championship from 2017 onwards. With their sights set firmly on making a mark in MotoGP, KTM already have signed current Tech3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro to ride for their factory team in 2017. Currently, a bunch of riders like Mika Kallio, Karel Abraham, Randy De Puniet and Thomas Luthi have been testing the KTM RC16 MotoGP machine to the limits at Jerez, Misano, Brno and most recently at Mugello in preparation for the next season in order to test and develop the bike.
The KTM RC16 has been described as a very powerful but very rideable machine by the test riders, with the chassis being a particular highlight of the bike besides the V-4 engine that powers the RC16. The electronics package is also coming along well according to the test riders, who are coming to grips with the KTM RC16 and becoming more and more comfortable with the machine on various tracks. KTM have been met with success in most championships that they enter, and their focussed approach to MotoGP will surely pay dividends in the future, and they will be looking to conquer the MotoGP title soon with the KTM RC16.
The test riders will continue to compare the times of the KTM RC16 with their rivals and work towards improving the bike. A few parade laps with the RC16 are scheduled for KTM’s home round in Austria that is coming up soon. There will of course be the possibility of a wild card appearance at Valencia in the same manner that Suzuki showcased their GSX-RR at Valencia. Riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will get a chance to sample the RC16 race bike only at the post-season testing after the final round in Valencia.
The V-4 engine is said to make about 270 horsepower, which is a huge amount to get down productively onto the tarmac. Engine reliability, suspension set-up, electronics tuning and other things will have to be just right for the new KTM RC16 to be competitive. However, the entry of KTM into the championship should also help sales of their road bikes if the KTM RC16 does well.