Mika Kallio will return to MotoGP action in this weekend's German Grand Prix after a nasty finger injury forced him to miss the recent Laguna Seca round.
The MotoGP rookie fell from his Pramac Ducati just a few corners short of claiming a career best sixth at Assen, then had part of his left ring finger ground away when his hand became trapped under the bike.
“It looks quite bad, but the pain is ok now,” said Kallio on Thursday in Germany. “I think it's not so bad for riding, but if I feel too much pain we just need to get an injection and that's it. Of course it would be much nicer to ride without this, but this is how it is.
"I would say I am at 90% of my usual physical condition," he added. "I will have to wear a special glove made by Alpinestar with much more space for my left ring finger due to the big bandage I have on it. For sure in the next few weeks I will not be able to get married as the ring would never fit!"
Kallio scored two eighth places in his first two MotoGP rides, but has claimed points in only two of the six races since (including his American absence).
“It's really tough in MotoGP,” said the Finn. “The start of the season was really good but then we get some little problems and struggled with some settings, so the feeling with the bike was not what exactly what I wanted. That it why the results were a little bit down.
“But now I think we are coming back. Like we saw in Assen, when everything was quite good. My speed and lap times were constant and good during the race.
“For sure it will be a tough weekend here," he continued. "Qualifying is really important here and we'll see what happens, because my finger is not so good. But wherever we qualify, we will push in the race.”
"It is so nice to have Mika back with us," stated Pramac Racing technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini. "We really missed him in America, but I am still convinced that we took the right decision by leaving him at home for one weekend to recover in the best way possible and not ruin the rest of the season.
"From the beginning of the season Mika has been telling me that this is one of his favorite tracks, if not the favorite, this is why we expect a lot here. For sure it will not be easy due to the injury, but we believe that Mika will almost be in the best physical condition possible to compete at the maximum level."