KTM MotoGP test rider Mika Kallio has been rewarded for his efforts in developing this season’s RC16 with five wildcard outings at European rounds in 2018.
The Finn has been the Austrian marque’s test rider since the first laps of the RC16 towards the end of 2015, and gave KTM its MotoGP debut as a full factory entrant at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix last year.
Kallio enjoyed four outings on the RC16 across the 2017 season, making his first appearance at the Sachsenring in Germany, and giving the team its first top 10 finish in the premier class at its home round in Austria.
He returned to action at Aragon and in Valencia, and was rumoured to be replacing Bradley Smith within the team for 2018 after a largely difficult campaign for the Briton.
However, the team opted to retain the double MotoGP podium finisher, with Kallio maintaining his role as test rider.
With his efforts aiding KTM‘s charge to fifth in the manufacturers’ standings in its debut campaign, Kallio has been rewarded with entries to the Spanish, Catalan, German, Austrian and Aragon rounds of the 2018 season.
This was confirmed by the Grand Prix Commission in a statement announcing updates to the regulations.
KTM, along with Suzuki and Aprilia, will be allowed up to six wildcard entrants in 2018 while those teams running without concessions are limited to just three.
The GPC also announced the introduction of a trophy for the top independent class team and rider in the premier class at the end of the season, while Moto2 and Moto3 class teams can now compete for a teams’ title in 2018.