KTM 1190 RC8 makes racing debut

Team pleased despite crash

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 09, 2008, Photography by F. Porrozzi, KTM
KTM made its superbike racing debut with the new 1190 RC8 in Valencia on April 6.

The RC8, which KTM introduced at November’s EICMA show, raced in the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) Superstock 1000 on Sunday.

Rider René Maehr started in tenth place on the grid after posting a qualifying time just 1.1 seconds off of the pole. Unfortunately for the KTM Maehr Superstock team, Maehr’s day ended early after he lost the front end on the third lap.

“I feel really disappointed because until I lost the front end in the first corner I felt really good. I feel sorry I was not able to finish my first race with the RC8,” says Maehr. “On the other hand I’m happy that we were able to be constantly fast in the practice and able to learn a lot.” KTM's 1190 RC8 performed well at Valencia, despite René Maehr's crash.

Philipp Habsburg, head of KTM research and development, says he was pleased with the machine’s performance despite Maehr’s spill.

“It’s easy to see the premiere of the RC8 in the FIM Superstock 1000 World Cup in a very positive light. Everything went well right from the first practice - René, the RC8, our entire team,” says Habsburg. “Seeing René and the RC8 in the gravel was bad, but with what we have learned this short time we are already looking forward positively to the next race in Assen. Everyone is extremely motivated to continue exciting and fruitful development of the 1190 RC8.”

In FIM Superstock 1000 racing, bikes use mostly stock components and run on grooved Pirelli tires with racers up to 24 years of age. While the current focus is on Superstock racing, Habsburg says KTM may look towards racing in the Superbike World Championships, but not before 2010.

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