KTM RC16 at Least One Wildcard Entry in 2016, Luca Marini in Moto2 with Forward Racing

Mika Kallio on KTM RC16 at Valencia, 2015 1 photo
Photo: Platzer Philip
The 2015 Grand Prix season is well over, so the time of big news sort of passed. Still, with the winter break drawing near and the bikes hidden behind the closed doors of the teams' garages, there are still things that are on the move.
For starters, we'll have at least one wildcard entry from KTM. The first date confirmed is Valencia, the final round of the 2016 MotoGP season. The Austrian team has already tested, quietly, last weekend at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, with both riders astride the RC16.

Alex Hofmann and Mika Kallio took turns aboard the KTM RC16, under the supervision of former HRC technician Mike Leitner. The current KTM MotoGP consultant is pleased with the progress the team has made since the "launch" of the bike, four weeks ago.

Another test will take place in early February, with the data collected at Valencia being analyzed until then, and new developments implemented, preparing the RC16 for the final months until debuting in the premier class. Whether KTM has plans for only one wildcard entry or will use two is still unclear, though we suspect the Austrians will choose to test in real race conditions twice if they can.

Valentino Rossi's half-brother steps into Moto2

Luca Marini is the half-brother of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, and he is taking a very important step in his racing career. Marini has just signed a multi-year contract with Giovani Cuzari's Moto2 team, Forward Racing.

The Italian thus becomes the teammate of Lorenzo Baldassari, and being 18, has good prospects to hone his skills before attempting to take on the premier class, which is the ultimate goal.

It is hard to tell whether the notoriety of his brother was the key factor that secured him a Moto2 ride, even though the idea cannot be discarded 100%. Luca is one of the VR46 Academy members, Valentino Rossi's riding school aimed at discovering young talents and helping them become top riders.

How much lobby from VR46 weighed in Cuzari's choice is impossible to tell, but Marini's performance aboard the Kalex bike will certainly weigh more than anything. It's hard to believe that Forward Racing will keep him in the team without strong results, if not even battling at the top.
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