KTM Factory Racing test rider Mika Kallio was upset with his performance in the grand finale of the 2016 MotoGP championship. After the Friday practice at Valencia, he described that the gap is too big.
The Austrian manufacturer is set to enter the championship in 2017. Ahead of that, to see the race performance of its RC16, the manufacturer made a wild-card entry with Kallio in Valencia.
Despite showing good performance during the in-season test at several circuits, KTM rider ended the day one of Free Practice at the back of the pack.
Kallio said, "At the moment, the reality is the results we did. We were not showing our best today, the gap to the front was absolutely too big.
"That was a big surprise for us. We thought we could be closer than that to the fastest guys. That's why we are not happy with these results and there are a lot of things we need to improve."
The Finnish rider admitted that the main reason for this was a lack of grip at the rear. On Tuesday, Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will ride the RC16 for the first time.
He added, "The main problem was we couldn't work with the rear tyre. There was no grip at all; even with different settings, [using] both bikes, two options of the tyre, I always faced the same problem.
"There was a lot of [sliding] sideways, basically. When I go into the corner somehow I lose contact with the rear and it never comes back. We lose a lot of time there."
Last month, at the pre-race test at Valencia, the factory team showed what they can do at the Valencia track. Kallio did post some competitive times in the test and that gave him the confidence to say that KTM won't be at ‘the back of the pack.'
The Fin added, "We were here one month ago, and we were faster during the testing, that's why we were expecting something more today.
"We are not far from the temperature we had here one month ago; in the morning we thought that was the reason [for the deficit] but in the afternoon it was the same as one month ago. There is something else."
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