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Thu, 2016-07-21 22:16
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Press releases and photos from KTM after their first communal test with the other MotoGP teams:


KTM MotoGP Test Spielberg – Great to arrive back home

MotoGP Test 2016 – Spielberg (AUT)

Nine months after its initial rollout, the KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team returned to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg Austria, to complete the ninth development test in what turned out to be ideal conditions. In addition to the team’s permanent test rider Mika Kallio (FIN), Tom Lüthi (SUI) also delivered an impressive performance on the second KTM RC16 riding with an almost complete field of MotoGP riders.

Before the MotoGP makes its return to Austria in the middle of August, these privately organized tests that included all but two teams saw riders familiarize themselves with the completely newly asphalted circuit. Teams also had the opportunity to work on setups for the race that takes place immediately after the three-week summer break. It was also the first real opportunity for KTM’s MotoGP Factory Racing Team to settle into the location before the project is introduced to the general public with demo laps and a press conference at its home Grand Prix.

Pit Beirer (Motorsports Director): “Finally the day has arrived we can measure ourselves directly against our competitors and it was a great feeling. But in principle we are here to continue to improve and we can say clearly that everything is going according to plan. Naturally we’re somewhat slower than the absolute top guys at this point, but the difference is not dramatic and we can see where we have to improve. The fact that we already have our two factory riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro under contract for the next two years already makes me feel very confident lap time whise. We now have four further tests on the program before we ride with Mika Kallio as a wild card in the final race of the season in Valencia, which for us is also another milestone. He and the entire team have delivered a fantastic job in the past half year, and this has been reflected in the results of this test.”

Mike Leitner (Vice President Onroad): “Fantastic that we’ve now really confirmed that we’re going in the right direction. The test was pure competition because naturally all the teams tried to find a good setup for the Grand Prix. At the end of the second day the times started to drop and this gave us our first real reference. And even though the way to the top will be even harder, on no account do we need to hide. There are many things to do but we know where the bar is set. If someone had told us before the test that we were three seconds behind, we would have taken it well. This achievement is even more praiseworthy in the class where they fight for every tenth of a second. This was an important step that is bound to guarantee that awareness is sharpened throughout the entire company.”

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director Onroad): “This time we concentrated on three fundamental points. Lap times, how others manage electronics and tires plus normal settings and test work we have been able to do also in the past. Technically we didn’t make as many steps forward, but we made a lot of progress with the lap times. We moved between a deficit of between one and a half and two seconds on both days, which for me was actually less than expected. The next development step will be a big one and we will aim to cleanly integrate all of our experiences into a completely new bike. I hope that with this bike, and the continuous updates we’ll be better equipped for our wildcard entry into the last race of the season, and the subsequent IRTA test.”

Mika Kallio (Test Rider MotoGP): “I think our performance was better than many expected and the distance between us and the others could have been greater. But we’ve delivered impressive work on the two test days and we notice that the other teams were to some extent also impressed. We didn’t have any technical problems and this meant we could reel off a lot of laps at a high level. Step by step we were able to put in faster laps over both days and on the second day we improved our times by a second over the first. This time the concentration was more on set-up and less on development and that made it easier for me to ride faster times, so my confidence improved lap for lap. With all the other riders on the circuit we clearly saw in which areas we still had to improve. This allowed me to follow some other riders and I understand what is now necessary.”

Tom Lüthi (Test Rider MotoGP): “Thanks to my physiotherapist I was able to hold it all together as far as my physical condition is concerned. But also the track was new to me and compared to Mugello I had much more to work on the bike. I was gradually able to get used to it and to continually improve. I’m very happy with my performance. We made technical improvements regarding the fork and also the topic of the tires was naturally very interesting for me. Although I haven’t yet found the ideal combination where I can say I can now ride a half a second faster, the interplay between things like the wheelie control, traction control or torque power coming out of the slower corners is extremely interesting. Among other things, for me that means I have to improve before the next test in Misano, but as mentioned, my main focus is still on Moto2 where we recently messed up and want to catch up again.“

Alex Hofmann (Test Rider MotoGP): “ We have to be honest and say that in this short time we have made a perfect start to the MotoGP project. The laps I put in on the KTM RC16 on the morning of the second day were awesome. The motorcycle is absolutely on the right track. At the moment I see nothing that should put a stop to this. We can be really proud of this first comparison considering that the bike was only rolled out nine months ago. Riders, bikes and teams are working at 100% during the season so to be within two seconds deserves respect. And last but not least the difference to Yamaha and Honda is additionally impressive on what is obviously a Ducati circuit, and this perhaps also explains why a team was already not using a transponder.”

For the KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team the second half of the season starts with the public presentation of the project at the Home Grand Prix in the middle of August, before the test number 10 in Misano, directly followed by the next one in Spain.

Photos courtesy of KTM Racing

Mon, 2016-07-11 17:32
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Seeking shade at Laguna Seca


Nicky Hayden at Laguna Seca? Always a good bet for the podium


Top of the hill, just before you plunge down the Corkscrew


"The best package on the grid," is how other riders describe the Aprilia RSV4


It came from the Laguna


Ducati / Akrapovic, up close


Alex De Angelis has recovered extremely well from his horrific crash at Motegi last year


How to keep your clutch plates in order, by Ducati


Alex Lowes, still not completely fit, but still fast


Davide Giugliano, dapper gentleman


With an occasional tendency to end in the gravel


Bottom of the Corkscrew, pretty as a picture


Life's not easy for the reigning BSB champ Josh Brookes


Attention to detail


Magic Michael van der Mark


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Sat, 2016-07-09 21:15
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Nicky Hayden is home again. Pity the Honda hates hills


Eyes of the champ


Ducati - Fast by Akrapovic. The Slovenian exhaust maker had a big hand in making the Panigale more manageable


Best looking bike on the grid? The Yamaha R1 is definitely a contender


The difference between MotoGP and WSBK is that in WSBK, they keep the tech porn on display


Jordi Torres has not made the progress he had hoped for in 2016


Can Chaz Challenge The Champ?


Goin' back to Cali


These boots are made for winning


Hard on the gas out of the final corner


Tom Sykes seems to get stronger every race


The Corkscrew is cute, but Turn 1 separates the men from the boys


Shocking


Davide Giugliano's Ducati Panigale R - the seat everyone is chasing ...


... especially Xavi Fores. The Spaniard has been very impressive after switching from the IDM championship


Ambition burns as brightly as ever for Nicky Hayden


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Tue, 2016-06-28 17:03
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It's called a "shoey" apparently. Though why anyone would want to consume alcohol from their footwear is a mystery in the Northern Hemisphere


Torrential rain meant a MotoGP race cut short


What victory looks like - Pecco Bagnaia celebrates his first win in Moto3


That will probably buff right out


Assen was not so much a flag-to-flag race, as a red-light-to-red-light race


The Ducatis reigned supreme in the wet. Well, almost


Now that's what I call monsoon conditions


Post-crash rituals: step 1 - argue with a marshall


Never give up


Jack Miller leads Marc Marquez, all the way to the line


Second place, but celebrating it like a victory. Marquez took a big step forward in the championship at Assen


The Moto3 freight train never gets old


A victory has been a long time coming for Takaaki Nakagami. He took his first with style


A message from the junkies


Brad Binder had a lucky escape from a bad mistake. Lost ground, but still scored a lot of points


Belgian beer billionaire Marc van der Straten, making dreams come true


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Mon, 2016-06-27 22:13
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Rain. At Assen. Who would have thought?


A good way of getting pole: follow a fast rider


Determination. Not enough to save Dani Pedrosa's weekend


Last minute instructions to Yonny Hernandez


Moto3 freight train


Aleix Espargaro and crew chief Tom O'Kane, a strong partnership in Suzuki


Marc Marquez had plenty to think about on Saturday


Marshalls, the true heroes of motorcycle racing. Going above and beyond the call of duty


When you're 30 hp down, wet conditions are a boon.


46, still fast at 37


Whoops. Aron Canet crashed at the GT chicane, taking out Juanfran Guevara in the process


There was a lot of this about on both Saturday and Sunday

https://motogpmatters.smugmug.com/MotoGP/2016/MotoGP-2016-Round-8-Assen/...

 

What victory looks like - Pecco Bagnaia celebrates his first win in Moto3

 


Did anyone bring an umbrella?


In a factory team, riders have someone to hold the handlebars and make "vroom, vroom" noises for them


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Sat, 2016-06-25 21:08
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Here today, gone tomorrow


Surgery scars. Marc Marquez shows off the ones he had from breaking bones in his fingers


Maverick Viñales. Or Spiderman?


Riders love their dogs.


Dani Pedrosa is struggling at Assen. Badly.


Cal Crutchlow is finally getting his season on track


Bradley Smith does the racer's stare


Dangerous Dovi - a factor at Assen


Early morning exercises for the Yamahas


Perfect on the right, a little graining on the left. The disadvantage of a symmetric front slick


#44 is flying at Assen


Close formation into the hairpin


The bike follows your eyes


Pre-practice stretching


Eugene Laverty looks set to stay at Aspar for next year


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Wed, 2016-06-01 22:57
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Jonathan Rea, World Champion

World Champion Jonathan Rea made the best out of a tricky weekend.

MV Agusta

The MV Agusta is challenging the Ducati Panigale in the beauty pageant. 

Elbow down

Kyle Smith was one of a few riders to get his elbow down in World Supersport.

Cameron Beaubier

Cameron Beaubier on the grid for race two.

Jordi Torres

Jordi Torres has adapted well to the BMW.

Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden, a welcome addition to the World Superbike paddock.

Aprilia RSV4

Alex De Angelis's Aprilia RSV4.

Ayrton Badovini

Ayrton Badovini was without a ride at the beginning of the year but has settled in well on the World Supersport Honda.

Pirelli Tyres

Pirelli make some damned fine rubber.

Randy Krummenacher

Randy Krummenacher, hitting the bump before Goddards under braking.

Cameron Beaubier

Cameron Beaubier had a baptism of fire on his debut World Superbike weekend.

Tom Sykes power stance

The last eight races at Donington have all been won by Tom Sykes. 

Leon Camier

Leon Camier makes an under-developed bike look good.

Lorenzo Savadori

Lorenzo Savadori was the surprise of the weekend, qualifying on the front row against some very fast men.

Chaz Davies

Chaz Davies's Ducati Panigale would catch fire later this lap. At this point, he didn't know it had gone pop.

Tue, 2016-04-12 17:35
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Marc Marquez did not quite lead from start to finish. Here's the only part where he was behind


Clutch issues meant Rossi had to push too hard, something the Michelin front would not accept readily


Blue bikes rising. Aleix headed Maverick, until Maverick finally struck


The riders refer to the section from Turn 3 to Turn 10 "The Flip Flops"


It was a tough weekend for Cal Crutchlow. He tucked the front pushing too hard in the race, then his van was stolen from his Italian home


Turn 1: One of COTA's great glories


When Romano Fenati is on it, he's unbeatable


28 into Turn 1 does go. Just


The King of America returns after win number 10


Sam Lowes kept Alex Rins honest, but couldn't find a way to beat him


A familiar sight: asking too much of the front end makes it wash out. Loris Baz was not the only rider to suffer


After a disaster in Argentina, Jorge Lorenzo got back into the game with a podium in Austin


The only other time Marquez did not lead the race: briefly on the brakes, going into Turn 1


Jorge Navarro did not get his first ever win this weekend. But it's clearly just a matter of time


Philipp Oettl is finally starting to make good some of the promise he showed in the Red Bull Rookies

 


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Sun, 2016-04-10 16:32
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Still gunning for glory


Everything's bigger in Texas. Including the views


Cal Crutchlow has been quick so far, quick enough to make it into the "Peasants' Podium" as he calls it


Dovi, in a battle with his teammate for the second seat at Ducati


Too tall? Tell that to Loris Baz


Big air


#99, Smooth as butter


Bradley Smith radically altered the set up on his Tech 3 Yamaha. He needed to, and it paid off


Maniac Joe, in a battle with his teammate for the second seat at Ducati. He may be faster, but he's got to finish


The next big thing


Gray skies mean clear visors, which means Aleix Espargaro's intense stare shows


Pol Espargaro has had the best of the Tech 3 battle so far


If you want to win, you have to beat him


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Sat, 2016-04-09 17:44
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Unstoppable in Austin


Topic of the moment: the Ducati winglets make the Desmosedici GP look fearsome


But the Ducati winglets are much smaller than the Yamaha items, especially on Jorge Lorenzo's bike


Big things ahead for Maverick


Fast and furious: Rossi is competitive in Texas


A busy man: Michelin's Nicolas Goubert (right) has a lot on his plate after Argentina


Eugene Laverty took a massive boost from his fourth place in Argentina


Getting closer every race


A man on a mission, to stop Marc Marquez


It isn't easy being a Moto3 champ


Honda are behind, but there is real progress being made


When asked about his teammate, Andrea Dovizioso dodged the question


One so fast, one not so fast


Work to do for Dani too


Eye on the prize


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