Tom Lüthi KTM RC16 Spielberg 2016-2

After months of testing at Spielberg in Austria, Mugello in Italy and other continental circuits, the 2017 KTM RC16 Motogp racebike made its world debut during a demonstration performance at Red Bull Ring Spielberg last weekend. The KTM RC16 saw an accelerated development programme after KTM top management decided to throw its hat into the MotoGP ring two years ago.

Carrying a 1,000 cc 90-degree V-four engine, the KTM RC16 was developed to compete in the 2017 MotoGP season. Currently piloted by Alex Hoffman, Tom Luthi and Mika Kallio, the RC16 is slated to get its first taste of racing at the top-flight if its application for a wild-card entry in the Valencia MotoGP round is approved.

“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,” said Stefan Pierer, chief executive officer of KTM Group.

The 2016 KTM RC16 was taken for a few demonstration laps of Red Bull Ring by Mika Kallio, after which the KTM MotoGP team heads to Misano, Italy for more testing. It is rumoured that a customer version of the RC16 – for track use only – may be made available at a price of 140,000 euros (RM630,000).