KTM is getting serious about road racing: in 250 GP racing the factory team has a strong presence, Mika Kallio having won the race last weekend at Valencia.
The company has announced plans to enter a V-4-powered bike in the 2009 World Superbike series, and will be competing in the Parts Canada Superbike Canadian Thunder class in ’08 with a version of the RC8.
The RC8 racing bike’s first appearance was at Valencia in the Superstock race, as part of the bike’s ongoing development. Rene Maehr of the KTM Maehr Superstock team qualified an excellent 10th, 1.1 seconds off pole, but then crashed out early on in the race.
Philipp Habsburg, head of KTM R&D, was disappointed but shrugged off Maehr’s crash: "It’s easy to see the premiere of the RC8 in the FIM Superstock 1000 World Cup in a very positive light," he said. "Everything went well right from the first practice — Rene, the RC8, our entire team."
The race was won by Australian Brendan Roberts on a Ducati 1098.