One thing is certain: the KTM project is beginning to bear fruit. The Austrian Grand Prix was the Mattighofen team's home race and results exceeded all expectation. Thanks to test rider Mika Kallio, who came home in tenth place just over two tenths behind Loris Baz.
The Finnish rider was able to keep riders of the caliber of Iannone, Redding and Crutchlow behind him. And to think that he started from eighteenth place on the grid: “This was a fantastic race – commented the rider – I've always thought it would be possible to score points and we did that”.
A race in which the Finn went fully on the attack: “I was able to start strong, making up a few positions in the opening laps – he recalls – unfortunately as I don't race often, I really felt is physically, as this track is very demanding in terms of braking.”
In the end, his performance is one to frame: “This was my best ever MotoGP race – concludes Kallio – we finished 19 seconds from the winner and this confirms our bike's growth”. Eighteenth for Smith, who has never been able to do better than his team-mate with the RC16. Pol Espargarò was forced to retire.
The Red Bull Ring also saw the KTM shine in Moto3, Oettl crossed the line second behind winner Mir, while Brad Binder finished seventh in the intermediate class.