Simon and Kallio start final 250 cc GP from first row

2008-10-25 04:36
Repsol KTM rider Julian Simon and Red Bull KTM star Mika Kallio will start on the front row for the last GP of the season and the final race that KTM will contest in the 250 cc category.

With Kallio's team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama in fifth position, KTM's three-rider line-up in this class is ready for a great final fight and are determined to end the exciting campaign of the Austrian manufacturer on a high note.

Spaniard Simon,who has showed ever-increasing speed in recent races and who confirmed his good shape with third place in final practice today, is determined to crown a good season with his first podium finish in the 250 cc class. Official Red Bull KTM factory riders Kallio and Aoyama, who celebrates his 27th birthday today, are aiming even higher and will pull all stops to add another victory to KTM's successful history in this class.

Julian Simon (Repsol KTM 250 - 3rd in 1.35.964)
"Due to the bad weather, it was a complicated weekend so far. But we managed to make the best out of the only dry session this afternoon and to conquer a front row starting position, which makes me very confident for the race. Our level has increased lots in the last four races. We've been very competitive, only my first podium finish kept slipping out of my reach. I hope I can make this dream come true tomorrow and finish a great season with KTM in the 250 cc class in the best possible way!"

Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM 250 - 4th in 1.36.194)
"I crashed yesterday and destroyed our prototype chassis, which was the best chassis I had. But despite this the bike with the older chassis version felt okay today. We had a few small problems with the suspension set-up in the final dry session, but I still thought that a better grid position and even pole position would have been possible. But on my last exit, I ran into traffic on three consecutive laps. My fourth lap after that was my fastest one, but tyre grip had already gone down. Our aim now is to fine-tune our settings in tomorrow's warm-up session and hopefully to be in the fight for victory!"

Hiroshi Aoyama (Red Bull KTM 250 - 5th in 1.36.267)
"Yesterday it was raining, this morning the track was damp and this afternoon we had the first dry session. Considering that, we can be happy with what we achieved. My feeling for the bike is quite good. There are only a few little things that we can improve in the warm-up session tomorrow morning. It will be the last race of the year and the last race with KTM in this category, so it's great to see that all three riders can fight for victory tomorrow. Simoncelli is very fast, but all the others are within reach. It should be a great race for us!"

Harald Bartol (Technical Director)
"All our 250 riders are full of confidence and determination for tomorrow's race, and it's great to see this kind of spirit at KTM's last race in this category. In the past, we've been much faster on this track, so if the weather is nice tomorrow and we can manage to get back to the speed that we once had here at Valencia, we're in with good chances for podium finishes and even a victory."

Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG

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