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More KTM RC16 MotoGP Prototype Pics Show the 2017 Contender in Detail

KTM revealed more photos of the RC16 MotoGP prototype testing at the track, and the resemblance with the Honda RC213V is indeed impossible to deny. The funny thing is that some voices claim Mike Leitner might have had a strong say in the way the KTM track weapon was developed.
Alex Hofmann aboard the KTM RC16 20 photos
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If Leitner's name does not ring a bell, we'll just tell you that he has been involved with Honda before, both as a 125cc rider and more prominently as a mechanic. Between 2006 and 2010, Mike Leitner was part of the Repsol Honda team and was Dani Pedrosa's chief mechanic.

Leitner has experience with chassis and suspension technology and was also employed by team Aprilia Germany, Aspar, Red Bull Yamaha, Gauloises Yamaha, and Telefonica Movistar Honda. His resume also includes working as an Öhlins suspension specialist for three teams, so you can imagine that he is one of the most valuable parts in KTM's puzzle.

As to how much the RC16 resembles the RC213V, we can only tell from an aesthetic point of view. Speculations have the Mattighofen prototype using a 90-degree V4 architecture for the MotoGP engine, with a "screamer" ignition pattern. This means equal intervals between the ignition points for each cylinder, as opposed to the "big bang" pattern that has the cylinders firing in a small amount of time during the rotation of the crankshaft, followed by a "pause."Is KTM looking forward to making WP a major player in MotoGP?
KTM says that they prefer to keep everything under the same roof, and they will be using their own chassis and swingarm, as well as their WP suspensions.

While such a move is natural, because WP is a brand owned by KTM, some wonder whether Mattighoffen is only planning to develop suspensions for their MotoGP program or they are envisaging becoming a major player in the premier class.

KTM is headhunting high and low for the best people in MotoGP they can hire, rumor has it, and this might also affect the WP race parts development. So far, Öhlins is, by far, the first choice for MotoGP riders, with Showa and KYB unable to pose a real threat to the Swedes' supremacy.

If KTM plans to invest massively in WP and manages to become so technologically-advanced as to impress the riders, we might witness a new era in road racing. Mattighoffen certainly has the means to transform WP into a leading brand in the field, but only time will tell how successful they will be.

Until then, enjoy this new gallery and stay sharp as we're interviewing KTM next week at EICMA.

 
 
 
 
 

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