KTM Signs Mika Kallio as MotoGP Test Rider

Things start rolling faster at Mattighofen as the 2015 season end is drawing near and the final year of preparation for KTM starts ahead of KTM's MotoGP comeback.
Mika Kallio 1 photo
Photo: Gigi Soldano
KTM signs Finnish rider Mika Kallio as the factory's test pilot, and he will be in charge of trying to push the limits of the new RC16 prototype. Kallio and KTM have a rich common past, as the Finn raced with KTM for four seasons in the junior and the intermediate classes, finishing in the second position at the end of two championships.

Even more, Kallio also has MotoGP expertise, after riding two seasons with Pramac, Ducati's satellite team. He also tested for Suter in the premier class in 2012, so he also knows what the development process of a MotoGP prototype involves.

Kallio will work with former MotoGP racer Alex Hofmann, who also has been testing extensively with Aprilia in both the premier class and in World Superbike. Funny thing, Hofmann and Kallio's past experiences involve V4 bikes, and this makes us believe that KTM considered this aspect as well when they chose the two riders.

KTM RC16 enters the final development year before making it to the MotoGP grid

Mattighofen's new prototype is so far named RC16, but it's not known whether this moniker is the final one. As the Austrians will make their return to MotoGP at the beginning of the 2017 season, we could see KTM using the same naming pattern as Ducati and fielding the RC17 in the championship.

While the name of the bike is a matter of lesser to no importance at all, how it will perform on the track is the key to KTM's return to the premier class. KTM's future race machine is a 1000cc V4 beast, but this is about all the Austrians agreed to share with the world.

We also know that KTM will take care of everything and will not rely on another team to take care of the racing part. They are also building their own frame and swingarm, and the RC16 will use suspensions manufactured by their WP subsidiary.

Hofmann will be the first to ride the KTM RC16, but the official test schedule in 2016 is still unknown.
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