Before MotoGP™ makes its return to Austria in the middle of August, KTM took part in a privately organized test that included all but two teams and saw riders familiarise 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.
It also gave KTM a chance to compare their progress against other manufacturers currently competing in the MotoGP™ World Championship, with both Mika Kallio and Thomas Luthi getting within 2.5s of Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) at the top of the timesheets.): “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-wise. 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.”(Credit: MotoGP)