It was a day of numbers for KTM MotoGP test rider Mika Kallio at the start of the Sepang Shakedown, as he debuted the #66 in place of his usual 36 and took to the track with seven different machines.

That was despite the Finn continuing to suffer from a lack of flexibility in his right knee, which required major surgery following an injury at the Sachsenring last July…

Crash.net

The number 66 you've been using, is that your new number?

Mika Kallio:

Yeah, it's my new number, just because Mir is coming to MotoGP and he uses the same number as me. I'm not a current race rider so I can't keep it and he will have it.

Crash.net

So why 66?

Mika Kallio:

I just saw the list of which numbers were available and just chose that one! No history or anything behind it.

Crash.net

How are you feeling physically, with your knee?

Mika Kallio:

It's getting slowly better, but we are still quite far from 100 percent and there is still a lot of work to do.

I struggle on the right-hand corners to get the in the correct riding position, because I still miss some movement and flexibility in my knee. And also because of that I can't really use the rear brake, because the leg doesn't work in a proper way.

So this is causing some problems, but for today anyway I'm quite satisfied. I expected maybe even a little worse feeling with the knee, but we were able to work quite well anyway, do a lot of laps, which is important.

Even if maybe the lap time is not the best because of those problems, we can test different things.

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Crash.net

Would you consider switching to a thumb brake?

Mika Kallio:

I've never been such a big fan of the thumb brakes. I tried it years ago, maybe ten years ago, in 250 but I didn't really like it. So I don't have great memories. But I need to see how the knee progresses, if I'm still struggling later in the year maybe there is a chance we will try it.

Crash.net

Were you doing a shakedown for all the race bikes, as well as your own test programme with your bikes?

Mika Kallio:

Yeah exactly, for today the main thing was that I needed to run in the bikes for the other riders, who will start testing tomorrow. I basically did laps with Pol and Johann's bikes, then I swapped to the Tech3 bikes.

In the end it was quite interesting because everyone has anyway a slightly different set-up on the bike and position. So you could compare a little bit how you feel with their set-ups.

After that I swapped to my bike and did around 30 laps.

Crash.net

How many different bikes did you actually try?

Mika Kallio:

In total, I tried seven!

Crash.net

And we saw you on track with the Yamaha-style wing on the fairing, was it the first time you've tried it?

Mika Kallio:

Actually yes, it was the first time for me to try that type of wing. It's like always, there are some positive points, some negative, but we need to decide later on, when we see what the other riders prefer.

It's like always, everybody thinks that the wings really bring a lot of lap time, but in the end the different is really small.

 

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