History has been made at the Red Bull Ring this weekend for several reasons already, and we haven’t even had the race yet. During a break in the action on day two of the tenth meeting of the season, KTM revealed the RC16 in its new livery.
The MotoGP returns to the track in Spielberg, Austria after 19 years, the last race winner was Australian MotoGP legend Mick Doohan! Nine times world champion Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is the only rider to have competed at the top level here but even that was back in his 125cc days.
KTM launch the new MotoGP bike in all its livery
Anyway, also making this weekend one to remember is the fact that KTM along with sponsors Red Bull have launched their first ever MotoGP bike – the KTM RC16.
We knew it was coming as KTM have been developing it since they announced their project back in 2014, and they have completed several private tests at different tracks on the calendar.
Mika Kalio, Randy de Puniet and Moto2 rider Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) have all helped to develop the KTM so far.
The bike in its livery was launched ahead at the Red Bull Ring in Austria as the main sponsor for the new race team is energy drink company Red Bull.
The two have had a long standing partnership as they sponsor the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team; Brad Binder is currently leading the championship. KTM have competed for a while in the Moto3 class as the field is dominated by the manufacturer.
Experienced MotoGP riders will join the project
Next year the KTM RC16 will be ridden by current Monster Tech 3 Yamaha teammates, British rider Bradley Smith and Spanish rider Pol Espargaro who announced earlier on in the year that they will be making the switch to the KTM factory project.
Keep your eyes peeled
But, we won’t have to wait until next season to see how it fairs on track as KTM test rider Kalio will be making a wildcard appearance at the final round of the season in Valencia in November (sort of a bitter sweet end to the championship).
Before that even, Kalio will be completing several demonstration laps on the KTM before the MotoGP race. Also next year, KTM will have a motorbike competing within the Moto2 class with the chassis falling under the category of ‘WP’.