De Puniet becomes KTM tester for rest of 2018

KTM has announced that it will replace the injured Mika Kallio with former test rider Randy de Puniet for the rest of 2018.

De Puniet becomes KTM tester for rest of 2018

Kallio has been KTM's test rider since the Austrian manufacturer entered MotoGP last year, but the Finn injured his knee at the Sachsenring and is set to be out of action for several months.

De Puniet did test work for KTM in the team's early development phase in 2016, along with riders such as Tom Luthi, Karel Abraham and Alex Hofmann.

The Frenchman, now an FIM Endurance World Championship regular, competed in MotoGP between 2006 and 2013 before joining Suzuki as a test rider and taking part in one last race in Valencia in 2014.

"I'm really happy that we could get Randy de Puniet for the next five months," said KTM head of sport Pit Beirer.

"He will be our test rider from now on because we have still a lot of parts to test and there are not many riders out there who can ride a MotoGP bike on that top level.

"I'm also not speaking only about laptime, I mean also how to behave on such a bike, they are rockets, they are dangerous, so you need a guy who knows how to behave with other riders on the track.

"I am really happy Randy comes back because he was part of our development programme and [it] will be also nice to hear his comments after he hasn't been on the bike for a while.

"Really happy that some of our problems are fixed right now."

KTM was also hit by Pol Espargaro's Brno injury, as the Spaniard is skipping the Red Bull Ring round and is at risk of missing the upcoming Silverstone race.

Beirer admitted that KTM has a problem finding a suitable replacement for Espargaro, but stressed that de Puniet would only race at Silverstone if he had a test to prepare prior.

He said: "We spoke to Randy about it but he said, 'if I have a test before, I would do Silverstone, but just to get me out of nothing on this race bike, I don't want to do it'.

"I think [this is] right and I respect this answer. Also since we said in this press conference [on Friday] that we are looking for a replacement rider, Pol called me and said 'I need that seat for Silverstone so don't get nervous, I'm ready, I'll be there'.

"My biggest hope is that Pol recovers as quick as he is doing in the last two days. He had really big progress, the pain is going down. The nicest answer would be that Pol is back but let's see."

shares
comments
Austria MotoGP: Dovizioso tops warm-up from crashing Marquez

Previous article

Austria MotoGP: Dovizioso tops warm-up from crashing Marquez

Next article

Marquez & Pedrosa on huge braking differences between F1 & MotoGP

Marquez & Pedrosa on huge braking differences between F1 & MotoGP
Load comments
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021