Red Bull KTM's Mika Kallio takes third 250 GP victory of the season2008-06-22 12:04
Red Bull KTM 250 star Mika Kallio made the British 250 GP a race to remember coming from behind at fourteenth place on the grid to take victory in the closing stages of the race and to further advance in the season's championship standings.
The 25-year-old Finn, who used a new chassis that his team had prepared for this race weekend, rode with ever-increasing confidence after some last-minute adjustments for the windy and dry track conditions at Donington Park. He worked his way through the main pack and then chipped steadily away at the two leaders, finally making his bid for first place with just two laps to go. Kallio again proved that he is not just a brilliant rider but also a master tactician as he settled in behind race leaders Alvaro Bautista and Marco Simoncelli. They made a crucial mistake in the notorious last corner before the main straight and Kallio swept past to take his third victory of the season.
Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM 250 - first)
"We used our new chassis today and we were lucky with the set-up this morning. The bike didn't feel right when I first went out in the dry and after the session we decided to go a step back with the settings towards what we had used in the wet. I got a good start in the race but the most important thing was that the bike felt much better, especially on the front. My confidence grew from lap to lap and I was able to push harder. When I caught up to the front runners I was going to attack but they made a mistake and rode wide and that made my job much easier."
Kallio now has an eight point lead in the standings going to the next race at Assen, a circuit that was difficult for the team last year. "After Assen, we go to Germany where we are really, really fast!" Kallio promised.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Red Bull KTM - sixth)
Red Bull KTM Team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama also had a good start, but lost concentration and a few positions with a clutch problem, and fought back to sixth place. "My start wasn't too bad, but then I had a problem with the clutch that made me lose concentration and a few places. I eventually managed to recover and fight my way back to sixth position, but we could have done better today. I am a little bit disappointed!"
Repsol KTM 250 rider Julian Simon, who held third place in the initial stages of the race, came home in eighth position.
Harald Bartol (Technical Director)
"My respect to Mika, his comeback from fourteenth position on the grid was spectacular. We had a bit of luck on our side because at the last minute this morning, we found the right set-up for today's conditions. But most of all, it was his riding that made all the difference today."
1. Mika Kallio, Finland, Red Bull KTM 250, 42:14.410
2. Marco Simoncelli, Gilera, Italy, 42:14.763
3. Alvaro Bautista, Spain, Aprilia, 42:15.647
4. Hector Barbara, Spain, Aprilia, 42:23.285
5. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland, Aprilia, 42:25.769
6. Hiroshi Aoyama, Japan, Red Bull KTM 250, 42:30.534
8. Julian Simon, Spain, Repsol KTM 250cc, 42:32.417
1. Mika Kallio, Finland, Red Bull KTM 250, 131 points
2. Marco Simoncelli, Italy, Gilera, 123
3. Alex Debon, Spain, Aprilia, 101
4. Mattia Pasini, Italy, Aprilia, 98
5. Hector Barbera, Spain, Aprilia, 82
6. Hiroshi Aoyama, Japan, KTM 80
10. Julian Simon, Spain, Repsol KTM 250cc, 51
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story
Tweets by @bikeland_org