KTM Confirms Randy De Puniet and Tom Luthi as Test Riders

KTM RC16 MotoGP bike testing 3 photos
Photo: Platzer Philip
KTM is moving fast in the road racing world they planned to return to and, reportedly, added two new recruits to their MotoGP team. According to a message posted on Twitter, KTM will have MotoGP veteran Randy De Puniet and Tom Luthi in test team, complementing the existing Mika Kallio and Alex Hofmann.
We searched KTM Racing's Twitter feed but were unable to find the message. All we have is a screenshot of the post published by gp-inside, so until we see the message with our own eyes, we'd rather take things with a tiny grain of salt.

Anyway, this piece of news arrives from a very credible source; even more, KTM making such a move also makes sense, as the Austrian have a lot of work to do ahead of their wildcard appearance at Valencia in the last round of the 2016 MotoGP Championship.

KTM already said that the MotoGP project is going according to plan, and the motorcycle will officially make its debut at the Red Bull Ring, during the Grand Prix of Austria, on August 14.

KTM RC16 already packs 270 horsepower, will not suffer like Suzuki

The KTM RC16 produces 270 horsepower and things might not end here, as far as the race-ready performance is concerned. In fact, having a former Suzuki test rider in the team makes even more sense if we read once more Stefan Pierer's words.

KTM CEO said that the RC16 would not confront with the lack of power Suzuki's GSX-RR had to deal with in 2015. As for the goals for the 2017 season, he also said that keeping up with Suzuki and regularly finishing races in the top ten come first on the list.

With Suzuki's former test rider for a comeback bike on their payroll, KTM increases their odds of perfecting a chassis that performs better than expected in the first place. Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales liked the GSX-RR quite a lot from the first ride, and with De Puniet's former involvement in the build, KTM is most certainly seeking to replicate and surpass Hamamatsu's performance.

We still have no news, or rumors, for what's worth, as to who will be aboard the KTM RC16 at Valencia. Some say that Mika Kallio could be the man for the job, thanks to his past experience with Michelin tires, but making a call now is premature, especially with KTM in the equation.
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