Flying Finn Mika Kallio was declared the winner of a shortened 125cc Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi today.
Kallio made a fast start from the second row and raced hard with championship leader Thomas Luthi, team-mate Gabor Talmacsi and Mattia Pasini to lead eight of the 15 laps, including the five completed laps before the red flags were waved.
The race was stopped following a violent collision involving Swiss rider Luthi and young Spaniard Gadea: As Kallio led the field out of the final corner and onto the front straight at the end of lap 16 Luthi high-sided his Honda with both the rider and bike stranded on the track.
As the chasing pack weaved to avoid a collision Gadea, unsighted in seventh position, bounced off Luthi's leg and slammed into his bike at full speed. Miraculously neither rider was seriously injured although Luthi suffered a dislocated right shoulder. But both bikes were destroyed, with pieces of carbon fibre and debris spread across the starting grid area.
Race officials declared the race with positions decided on the last completed lap, 15, with Kallio winning ahead of Luthi and Faubel. It was Kallio's third victory of the season and he is now just three points behind championship leader Luthi, with five races remaining.
"I made a good start from he second row and when I got to the lead on lap three I tried to pull a gap but it was not possible, Luthi, Gabor and the others stayed with me," explained Mika. "There was some overtaking and then finally Luthi and I made a small gap. But I was leading when he crashed and then I saw the red flag. The championship is now very interesting, just three points the difference, and I hope I can maintain the pace until the end of the season."
125cc top ten – Japanese GP:
1. Kallio (KTM)
2. Luthi (Honda) +0.111secs
3. Faubel (Aprilia) +1.517secs
4. Koyama (Honda) +2.349secs
5. Pasini (Aprilia) +2.406secs
6. Poggiali (Gilera) +2.619secs
7. Gadea (Aprilia) +2.761secs
8. Nieto (Derbi) +2.961secs
9. Bautista (Honda) +3.720secs
10. Lai (Honda) +9.936secs