KTM has confirmed that Mika Kallio will continue as the team’s test rider for the 2019 MotoGP season.

The 35-year-old keeps his position in which he has been since the 2016 MotoGP season when the Austrian manufacturer took to the premier class of motorcyle racing. “I’m doing well with my recovery,” said Kallio.

“The programme is laid out so I will hopefully be 100 percent by the time we need to start work for 2019. I’m ahead of schedule but there are also days where I make progress and sometimes when it doesn’t feel like much, so it is day-by-day.

“I’m wearing a splint to protect the knee from bad torsion and I’m working hard on mobility and building up the muscle around the joint again. I have been cycling and can walk without crutches although it is still too early for me to try the bike.

“It’s great to stay with KTM. We’ve made some good gains with the RC16 and I think you can see that through the race times in 2018. It will be exciting to see how much further we can keep moving closer to that lead group.”

The Finn has played key role in the development of the RC16 and has done well in the wildcard rounds he has competed in. His progress this year was hit after suffering through a major injury due to a crash during the German GP.

He will miss the rest of the season with Randy de Puniet taking over his role for 2018. KTM’s motorsports director Pit Beirer said: “It’s great to see Mika up and mobile and focussed on making a full recovery as soon as possible.

“It was also positive that he could already make the trip to Austria to talk about our MotoGP plans for the future. He’s been an important part of our work from the start of the project.

“It makes perfect sense for us to continue together and be able to use his speed, his knowledge and all the experience he has gained so far.” Kallio joins Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco for 2019 with Dani Pedrosa also speculated to join.