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KTM hire Mika Kallio as MotoGP test rider

KTM signs Mika Kallio as a test rider for its 2017 MotoGP entry.
Mika Kallio will step back from racing to become a MotoGP test rider for KTM next season.

The Austrian company is entering the premier-class in 2017 and will now be helped in its preparations by the Finn, who raced in 'orange' from 2003-2008, winning 12 races in 125 and 250cc.

"KTM has played an important role in my career. When I first heard about their MotoGP 2017 plan, I realised that it might be a perfect chance for me to return to the Orange family," Kallio said.

"I am excited about our co-operation, since I respect KTM's know-how and way of working. I am eager to use my vast riding experience and analytic skills to do an excellent job as their test rider.

"My heart is set on this project and even though I will miss racing next year, I believe the best times are still ahead."

KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer added: “In addition to the technical and infrastructure challenges, the topic of personnel was no less important in the first stage of the project.

"By hiring Mika Kallio we now have our core team for MotoGP and are able to take the next steps. In accordance with our planning, the motor has been running on the test benches since the beginning of July.

"The next step will be the first roll out with Alex Hofmann, former Grand Prix rider and now commentator for MotoGP on Eurosport.”

Kallio, who has raced in all three grand prix classes, finished runner-up to Marc VDS team-mate Tito Rabat in last year's Moto2 championship. However he has endured a tough 2015, switching from Italtrans to QMMF during the season.

Tagged as: Kallio , KTM

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October 22, 2015 9:46 AM
Last Edited 1 day 12 hours ago

Excellent choise from KTM. Very high level rider, with a solid capability of pushing the bike into limit as well as the high consistency level in race pace. I believe that during 2016 Mika's skill also in the technical side will be highly valuable in the bike development process. I will miss Mika in races next year but I believe we will see him on the MotoGP grid in 2017, where I also believe his riding style and absolute talent level suits much much better than existing Moto2 class "standard" bikes. In some way I believe this will be Mika's dream project as now he will have better suiting machinery under him (incl tyres) and he can utilize his technical skill more adjustable high level bike (and a way better option than remaining in moto2 next year in a hope that Dunlop would be providing better tyres into the class)

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