MotoGP rookie Mika Kallio was just a few corners away from scoring a career best sixth place in Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen, when he crashed at high speed and badly injured his left ring finger, putting him in doubt for next weekend's US GP at Laguna Seca.
Kallio had just overtaken James Toseland to retake the lead of a thrilling six rider battle, but lost control of his Pramac Ducati through the fast turns at the end of the last lap.
When he fell, Kallio's left hand became trapped under his Desmosedici, burning away his glove and part of his finger.
"So painful, an incredible pain at the same finger I have already injured during my first MotoGP test in Valencia, maybe better to cut it off!” he smiled. “Jokes apart it's a pity for how the race was going, we were having a splendid performance, but with three turns to the end I thought to have another rider right behind me and while trying to close the line I lost the front and went down. My mistake and I am really sorry for the Pramac Racing Team that has given me a really competitive bike today.”
Kallio will now have a medical check in his native Finland before deciding if he is fit to race in this weekend's US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
“Now I will have to check the situation of my hand back in Finland, but I'll do what possible to race in Laguna Seca."
Prior to the accident, Kallio had fought his way forward from 14th at the end of lap one and looked set to easily beat his previous MotoGP best of eighth.
"We are proud of our rider,” said Pramac technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini. “Mika has done an extraordinary race even if qualifying and the start of the race weren't the best. He has done a brilliant race until three turns to the end. We are sad for that mistake, but these things can happen in the racing world.
“The things that concern us the most is his injury: at the beginning it seems like a really bad injury, but also thanks to Doctor Costa's treatment things have got better even if he is not sure to participate at Laguna Race,” he admitted. “[On Sunday] we will know more when he will have more medical check up in Finland. We are with him and we hope to have him back as soon as possible."