I would LOVE for the KTM to be up to speed and challenging for some points in the first year. Test success in Jerez: Kallio sheds some awaited light to KTM test progress Mika Kallio has been a mysterious man lately, commenting scarcely on the KTM RC16 test project and keeping his focus on development work. Finally today, after a two-day test in Jerez, the rider can happily confirm good news on positive test progress. -The bike feels clearly better now, the lap times are starting to drop to suitable readings and riding is starting to feel good, a relaxed Kallio commented straight out of the track. -Upon bike development in general, our biggest challenges have clearly revolved around the chassis and how to find a suitable stiffness. These issues have been present at every track and hindered progress somewhat, Kallio analysed. Last week in Brno we were able to improve the chassis dramatically and when the advantage stayed on the Jerez track as well, we were able to confirm permanent progress. -When the bike became more responsive, we started to experiment with different swing arms and front- and rear suspension solutions. This resulted in steady increase of trust towards the bike, so I could push more and ride on the limits. I can say that now we reached the big step we have been waiting for all spring and I am happy about that, Kallio continued. KTM:s MotoGP-team has one more private test ahead, before taking part to the official tests in Red Bull Ring, Austria, in July. Even though the actual launch event of the new RC16-bike takes place in August along with the Austria GP, the attention of media and the racing world will focus on KTM’s public debut in the upcoming July tests. Kallio and his crew have a few days to top up their game in Mugello before they come out with the new bike and they have confidence these two upcoming test days will prepare them for the showdown. -There is still a long way to be able to challenge the top teams, but as lap times go, we are now already there among the runner-up teams. We still have a lot of time on our test calendar, so I am positive there is still time for progress. In the Mugello tests we will be joined by Aprilia, so it will be interesting to compare times with a current MotoGP-team, Kallio stated. Wild card race in Valencia coming up Mika Kallio will start on the grid in the MotoGP season finale in Valencia on 11-13th of November. KTM has gained a permission for joining the race with one bike and Kallio, having worked hard, is happy to take on the well-deserved chance to race. He thanks his team for good work so far and looks forward to the season highlight already. -All in all KTM has done a marvellous job by putting together a competitive crew with a good team spirit. It is tough finding good employees for new teams as the competition is fierce, but we are now more than 35 people on the road testing, another 35 or more participate to the development based in the factory in Austria and there are still crew members incoming. I am happy of the progress and steps made so far, the team has deserved this and it is good for their motivation. -In addition to team satisfaction, I am glad to see that I can clock competitive lap times on a MotoGP-bike and I am happy that I can challenge current riders. This keeps my motivation up as a test rider and even though I would have liked that race rider spot I now lost to Smith and Espargaro, I have good plans for the future and the main thing is that I am able to compete in the lap times and demonstrate both the bike’s and my own potential in Valencia, a determined Kallio finished.