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KTM present 2017 livery
The livery of the brand new KTM machine set to join the MotoGP™ grid in 2017 was revealed for the first time on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring, as the bike looks forward to its debut with full time riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. The current Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo will both move to the new factory effort next season, to join fellow members of the project Mika Kallio and Alex Hoffman.
Test rider Kallio is set to do demo laps of the Austrian circuit ahead of lights out for the MotoGP race tomorrow – giving many fans their first glimpse of the brand new machine.
Mika Kallio (Test Rider MotoGP): “The first time I was on the bike I felt the basis was there and the lap times were already on a good level. We have needed to improve a lot of things and we did this. I think a few weeks ago we demonstrated to everyone that we’re on a good level. It was good to be on the bike and I really enjoyed all the laps I did. We are already quite close to our competitors and step-by-step we are improving. I would say the engine on this bike is already good and now we have four more tests before Valencia.”
Stefan Pierer (CEO KTM Group): “Almost two and a half years ago we made the decision that when we become number one in Europe we would be forced to take the last step (to join MotoGP). Meanwhile we’re now selling more than 60% of our 200,000 bikes onroad and to get accepted at the highest level of the sport you must take part in MotoGP, the F1 of motorcycle racing. Racing is our philosophy, our motivation and if we enter the segment, for sure we will have a learning curve but we will reach to podium – and my life’s dream is to be the world champion in MotoGP.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta (CEO Dorna Sports): “It was not difficult to convince them because the spirit of competition is in the heart of KTM. This is a very important step for us. We have a balance of Japanese and European manufacturers and KTM has proved its capability in all sporting activities. I am very impressed with how KTM does things, and not just with MotoGP. When they started with Moto3 they were immediately very competitive. KTM does things in the proper way and everything is connected in a very good way, I believe. Later on, races are races and you need some luck, but they prepare everything in the right way.”
Following Sunday’s demo laps at 13:15, the KTM Factory Racing Team will continue on to Misano in Italy for further tests after next weekend. This will be the first of a total of four tests before Kallio will compete as a wild card entry in the season finale in Valencia.
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