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Kallio to Misano for final factory ride.

This weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano marks the last time that Mika Kallio fills in for Casey Stoner at the factory Ducati team this season, providing the 2007 world champion returns as planned for Estoril.

Kallio made a strong impression with seventh place, comfortably ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden, during his first hour with the team at Brno, but crashed in qualifying and then again in the race, while holding eighth position.

The young Finn reached the finish last time at Indy, once again in eighth - which equals his best on the satellite Pramac bike - but Hayden was third and Kallio, who had been hoping for a top five when he took the ride, admits he isn't satisfied.

“I equalled my best ever MotoGP result at Indianapolis and even though the race went better than practice I still wasn't satisfied,” said the MotoGP rookie. “My main objective now is to find another half a second off my lap times and to do that I simply need to find more confidence in the front end of the bike.

“I know the potential is there so hopefully I can make the most of it at Misano. It is not exactly my favourite circuit but it's okay. In 2007 I went pretty fast in practice - not so much last year - and crashed out of the race both times. Hopefully this year we can build on the work we did at Indy and get a good result.”

Kallio had been tipped as a possible full time factory rider for 2010 when he was chosen to replace Stoner, but will surely need a stunning weekend in Ducati's second home event of the season to keep that dream alive.

Instead, most believe the former 125 and 250GP title contender will now stay with the Pramac squad for a second season.

“Mika will be with us once again [at Misano] as we await the return of Casey at Estoril and I really hope he is able to reap the fruit of all his recent hard work,” said Ducati MotoGP project director Livio Suppo. “He has demonstrated during his debut season in MotoGP that he has what it takes to do well and I'm sure he will confirm his potential soon.”

Related Pictures

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Kallio, Indianapolis MotoGP 2009
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September 04, 2009 1:50 AM

Kallio has tons of potential but he didn't perform, its not the end of the world though. Stoner learned to finish on a more regular basis, and so can Mika. He will be top 8 next year if Ducati can find another gear. The best thing about Mika is he wouldn't suffer from rule changes, you could take launch, traction, wheelie control, gps engaged engine maps and he would still be a top 10 rider in the world. Can't say that for Pedrosa. Kallio, Hayden, and Stoner are a terrific trio to have for Ducati. If Kallio can embrace what Casey and Nicky have matured into, he will be twice the rider he is now. With Yamaha and Honda regaining previous dominance Ducati needs to focus on improvement. Iron sharpens iron, whether its competition, or your teams structure and chemistry. I think Ducati have a lot of iron in their riders, the Desmodici, and their legendary passion. Ducati will be stronger then ever.


September 03, 2009 7:10 PM

er, soops Did you actually read the post when Kallio was promoted? It was the anti-Nicky brigade such as your self and Marc that was cheering through the roof top about how Kallio was going to do this and going to do that blah blah blah I see Marc is still clinging to straws and holding out hope......... :p :p :p

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