MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
19 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
26 days
R
Portugal GP
16 Apr
Next event in
40 days
R
Spanish GP
29 Apr
Next event in
53 days
R
French GP
13 May
Next event in
67 days
R
Italian GP
27 May
Next event in
81 days
R
Catalan GP
03 Jun
Next event in
88 days
R
German GP
17 Jun
Next event in
102 days
R
Dutch GP
24 Jun
Next event in
109 days
R
Finnish GP
08 Jul
Next event in
123 days
R
Austrian GP
12 Aug
Next event in
158 days
R
British GP
26 Aug
Next event in
172 days
R
Aragon GP
09 Sep
Next event in
186 days
R
San Marino GP
16 Sep
Next event in
193 days
R
Japanese GP
30 Sep
Next event in
207 days
R
Thailand GP
07 Oct
Next event in
214 days
R
Australian GP
21 Oct
Next event in
228 days
R
Malaysian GP
28 Oct
Next event in
235 days
R
Valencia GP
11 Nov
Next event in
249 days

KTM to cut down on wildcards next year

KTM MotoGP boss Pit Beirer says that the Austrian manufacturer will cut back on the number of wildcard appearances for its test riders in the future.

KTM to cut down on wildcards next year

Test rider Mika Kallio entered four races in KTM's first full season in MotoGP last year, and was set to race five times this year before injuring his right knee in a crash at the Sachsenring, curtailing his duties for the remainder of 2018.

The Finn had been using a 2019 prototype KTM that race riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith have not been able to race yet, taking 10th at Jerez but crashing on the opening lap in Barcelona.

Beirer admitted that the team gave Kallio "more wildcards than we wanted", which has had a negative effect as the test team's focus shifted too much towards racing.

And with Tech 3 adding two more KTMs to the premier class field next year, Beirer has indicated that there will be significantly fewer wildcard appearances for the Austrian marque's test riders next year.

"We planned more wildcards than we wanted, because we wanted to give Mika a chance to race more, because he was so desperate to race," he said.

"But this was also not very positive for the project because the test team starts to think too much like the race team and they want to race.

"They just want to get ready for the next weekend, and the most stupid parts, which also need to be tested, they don't do them because they focus on the race. Then you start to drift away from the job of the test team.

"We will not see - maybe even one or no wildcards from our test team in the future, that's already clear. Because [with] four riders in the race, [there's] enough race information, so the test team should focus on testing."

Kallio was free to leave for full-time ride

Kallio raced in MotoGP with Pramac Ducati in 2009 and 2010 before returning to Moto2 and then eventually taking up the KTM test rider role, and Beirer revealed that he urged the Finn to explore a race return.

This didn't materialise, and Kallio is now set to remain as one of KTM's two test riders next year.

Beirer said: "With Mika, we had a really honest talk and we told him, 'If there's a chance you could ride for a race team, maybe you should really do it', because he has that fire, it's unbelievable.

"So I gave him the chance: 'You go now six weeks and you speak to different teams, [and] if you think you can race, you should go. But if you don't get a place to race somewhere, then please accept that you are a test rider'. 

"He's still a contracted replacement rider, if something goes wrong, he would immediately jump on the bike and race, but he will not race in the future with the test team.

"We had a really good talk and it clicked also with him that it's still fantastic to be part of MotoGP as a test rider, come to the races, help our riders, watch on the race track what's going on.

"This talk has been done, so he would be a happy test rider, but now he's an unhappy test rider because he's injured."

Former MotoGP racer Randy de Puniet has been drafted in as a replacement tester for the rest of the 2018 season.

Additional reporting by Maria Reyer

shares
comments
The comeback that sealed a motorsport legend

Previous article

The comeback that sealed a motorsport legend

Next article

Crutchlow's Honda factory contract extended

Crutchlow's Honda factory contract extended
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Mika Kallio
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Author David Gruz
Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics Prime

Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics

Alex Marquez's form was one of MotoGP 2020's biggest surprises and, by firmly stepping out of his six-time world champion brother Marc's shadow, he proved a few people wrong. Not that he cares about this, as he tells Lewis Duncan

MotoGP
Feb 20, 2021
How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales Prime

How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales

After the electrifying start to his Yamaha MotoGP career in 2017, Maverick Vinales has struggled for consistency. Many anticipate that the arrival of Fabio Quartararo could spell disaster, but the departure of Valentino Rossi could be just the impetus he needs.

MotoGP
Feb 16, 2021
Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge? Prime

Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge?

Fears from rival MotoGP manufacturers that KTM would build a 'super engine' for 2021 have ultimately come to nothing with the revealation that the RC16 hasn't been radically changed over the winter. But does it really need that to win the title?

MotoGP
Feb 13, 2021
How Ducati's latest Aussie union can return it to MotoGP glory Prime

How Ducati's latest Aussie union can return it to MotoGP glory

Australians on Ducatis is an iconic partnership, the marque's last one yielding its sole MotoGP crown to date. But its latest Aussie union with the often underestimated Jack Miller can end this drought.

MotoGP
Feb 10, 2021
The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats Prime

The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats

Senna vs Prost is regularly cited as motorsport's greatest rivalry. But it can easily be argued Rainey vs Schwantz can stake that claim. That rivalry was in full swing during the 1991 500cc season, remembered fondly by both stars 30 years on...

MotoGP
Jan 19, 2021
The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back Prime

The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back

The 2020 MotoGP campaign featured a standout pair of rookies, but one flew under the radar as he adjusted to a shock step-up armed with very little racing experience. However as his veteran team boss explains, the faith shown in him was not misplaced

MotoGP
Jan 18, 2021
Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within Prime

Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within

With its charismatic leader Davide Brivio leaving for Formula 1, the Suzuki MotoGP squad he turned into a world championship-winning force in 2020 has a major recruitment headache that it needs to resolve carefully.

MotoGP
Jan 9, 2021
Why Alpine's latest signing could be its best hope of F1 glory Prime

Why Alpine's latest signing could be its best hope of F1 glory

The return of Fernando Alonso to the renamed Alpine team is a sure sign of the team's ambition. But its latest appointment from MotoGP could be an even bigger coup as it seeks to end a barren run stretching back to Alonso's 2006 world title

Formula 1
Jan 7, 2021