Mika Kallio

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Mika Kallio
Mika Kallio (portrait).jpg
Kallio at the 2005 Qatar Grand Prix.
Nationality  Finnish
Born (1982-11-08) 8 November 1982 (age 32)[1]
Valkeakoski (Finland)
Current team Italtrans Racing Team
Bike number 36
Website mikakallio.com
Motorcycle racing career statistics
MotoGP World Championship
Active years 20092010
Manufacturers Ducati
Championships 0
2010 Championship position 17th (43 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
32 0 0 0 0 114
Moto2 World Championship
Active years 20112014
Manufacturers Suter, Kalex
Championships 0
2014 Championship position 2nd (289 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
69 4 16 4 4 668
250cc World Championship
Active years 20072008
Manufacturers KTM
Championships 0
2008 Championship position 3rd (196 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
33 5 10 2 4 353
125cc World Championship
Active years 20012006
Manufacturers Honda, KTM
Championships 0
2006 Championship position 2nd (262 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
82 7 23 12 4 751

Mika Kallio (born 8 November 1982 in Valkeakoski) is a Finnish Grand Prix motorcycle racer. He debuted in the 125cc World Championship with the Finnish rookie team Ajo Motorsport in 2001 and was awarded the "Rookie of the Year" in 2002. After moving to Red Bull KTM during the 2003 season, he finished runner-up in the class in 2005 and 2006.

In his first year with KTM in the 250cc class, Kallio took two wins and finished seventh. In 2008, he led the championship throughout the first half of the season, eventually having to settle for third place. For the 2009 season, he moved to the MotoGP (800cc) class, racing on a Ducati Desmosedici GP9 for Ducati's satellite team Pramac Racing where he finished 15th in his first season in the top class and obtained the "Rookie of the Year" award. However 2010 was less successful, struggling with injury and lack of confidence, resulting in a lowly 17th.

Kallio looked to rediscover his form in 2011, competing in the Moto2 World Championship for the Marc VDS Racing Team riding a Suter.

Career[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Kallio started racing in 1997 and won the Finnish championship in road racing with further success in 1999 and 2000. During 2000, he also became the Nordic champion after finishing second in the previous year.

While Kallio pursued his road racing goals, the Finn has also scored plenty of success in ice racing back home in Finland, having achieved the Finnish motorcycle ice racing championship in 2000, 2004 and 2005 in the 125cc class. At 500cc level, Kallio also won the title in 2004 and 2006.

125cc (2001–2006)[edit]

Kallio made his debut in the 125cc World Championship as a wildcard rider at the 2001 German Grand Prix. Continuing with Ajo Motorsport and the Honda RS125R for a full season in 2002, he finished as the Rookie of the Year. Halfway through the 2003 season, Kallio switched to Red Bull KTM, KTM's factory team. He immediately took his career-best fourth place in Czech Republic. The highlight of 2003 was his first-ever class podium, a second place at Sepang behind Dani Pedrosa.

Kallio racing with his KTM bike.

After a 2004 season filled with bike reliability issues, Kallio took his first championship pole position and victory at the second round of the 2005 season at Estoril. He went on to take seven more poles and three more wins and lost the world title by just five points to Thomas Lüthi. He lost five points at the fourth-last Grand Prix in Qatar when his KTM team-mate, Gábor Talmácsi, pulled out from behind the slipstream and passed him on the last few metres of the race to take the win by 0.017 seconds.[2] Kallio had started from pole position and led every lap of the race and was not pushing on the home straight anymore, as Talmácsi had been ordered to stay back by the team because he was not a title contender.[3] Talmácsi was fired after the season finale at Valencia.

Kallio's 125cc KTM bike.

In 2006, Kallio was again a challenger for the 125 cc title. Although he produced his best season to date, the young Finn was outshone by Spain's Álvaro Bautista and while he tried to hang onto the Spaniard, he was forced to settle for the runner-up spot once again, although he did finish a full 65 points ahead of the third position. Kallio scored three victories, four pole positions and 11 podiums during the 2006 campaign. At the end of the year, viewers of the Finnish motorsport television series Ruutulippu voted Kallio the Finnish Motorsportsman of the Year for the second year running.[4] He collected 33.1% of all votes and pipped enduro world champion Samuli Aro, WRC runner-up Marcus Grönholm and F1 star Kimi Räikkönen.

250cc (2007–2008)[edit]

For the 2007 season, Kallio moved up to KTM's squad in the 250cc category alongside Japan's Hiroshi Aoyama. After a difficult start to the season with mechanical woes at Qatar and Spain, Kallio would consistently be fighting around the top six positions. The turning point of the season would be at Germany, where Kallio took his debut pole position and podium finish in the class for come home in 2nd behind team mate Aoyama to cap a fine 1–2 for KTM. A third place followed at the Czech Republic, although a nasty highside at San Marino, and more mechanical problems at Portugal were to slow his progress.

However the Finn would capture his first 250cc class victory at the rain-soaked Japanese race, and later added to his tally at the final round in Valencia, fending off Alex de Angelis on the final lap. He ended the season with two pole positions, two wins, four podiums and two fastest laps to place him seventh in the standings with 157 points.

Kallio remained at KTM for 2008. A strong start to the season saw a third place at the season opener under the floodlights of Qatar. A fortunate win at Jerez, Spain after title rivals Álvaro Bautista and Marco Simoncelli crashed out together on the final lap. Another solid third place at Portugal, before continuing his strong run with a masterful victory in China under tricky conditions. Kallio had built up a strong lead in the championship but his luck would soon change. After difficult races in France and Italy, the latter hampered by clutch issues at the start of the race, his bad luck continued in Catalunya when his bike broke down, and almost crashed on his return to the pits. His healthy lead in the standings had simply vanished.

His woes seemed to continue at Donington Park after qualifying only 14th. However, he passed one rider after another to jump up right to the head of the field to take a surprise victory. It were to be his final win in 250s. The KTM riders could not keep up with the pace of Piaggio riders and his title challenge was over in Australia, having been passed by eventual champion Simoncelli and Bautista a few races before. He did however make a long awaited return to the podium in third place, beating off fellow KTM rider Julián Simón to the line.

A forgettable race in Malaysia was followed by an accident in the final round at Valencia. Having been the only rider to keep pace with the new world champion, Simoncelli, Kallio was pushing to the limit to keep up and launch an attack on the final lap. However, he crashed half way round the final lap and slowly came home in an 11th place. He wrapped up the year to finish third overall with 196pts. It included three victories, three more podiums and two fastest laps, although he did not score a single pole position.

MotoGP (2009–2010)[edit]

Kallio at the 2010 British Grand Prix.

On 19 October 2008, Kallio was announced as part of the new Pramac Racing lineup for 2009 in Moto GP alongside Italian Niccolò Canepa. Kallio was provided with the latest spec Ducati Desmosedici GP9 ensuring equality for the satellite teams and the factory squad.[5]

His MotoGP career started brightly with two eighth places from the opening two rounds at Qatar and Motegi. During much of the season however would be blighted with several accidents, most notably from strong positions. At the Dutch TT at Assen, Kallio crashed out of sixth place and burnt his finger down to the bone, losing the top section.[6] He missed the race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but was back in action at the Sachsenring in Germany,[7] racing with a special custom-made glove to accommodate a bandage.

On 10 August 2009, when Casey Stoner announced that he would miss the next three races due to health problems, Kallio was called in to replace Stoner at the Ducati Marlboro team.[8] Once his stint in place of Stoner was over, Kallio returned to Pramac for the final four races of the season. He continued to show his talents with three more top ten finishes, although he missed out on a potential top six finish at Estoril after another front end accident. Overall though, it had been a positive debut season in the top class and his points tally rewarded him with the title of "Rookie of the Year".

On 30 September 2009 Kallio announced that he had signed a new one-year contract with Pramac Ducati that would see him ride for the team in the 2010 season.[9]

The 2010 season would prove to be an extremely difficult season for Kallio. His new team-mate Aleix Espargaró, gave Kallio a harder time and would usually match or outpace him. Kallio would only pick up just two top ten finishes throughout the whole season, an impressive seventh at Jerez from the back of the grid and ninth at Laguna Seca. But on a whole, it was a general disappointment.

On 17 October 2010, Kallio announced that he would not be competing in the final two rounds of the 2010 season due to a shoulder injury that he had been riding with, since Le Mans in May. A lack of confidence as well with the Ducati also contributed to his lack of results. As a result, Kallio and Pramac parted company as he had not been offered a 2011 contract by the team.[10]

Moto2 (2011–)[edit]

On 7 November 2010, it had been announced that Kallio would move down a category to Moto2, teaming up with the Suter-run Marc VDS Racing Team alongside British rider Scott Redding for 2011.[11] He finished fourth in the 2013 season and second in the 2014 season.

Personal[edit]

He has an older brother named Vesa, who is also a motorcycle racer. Finnish software house Tracebit also produced a mobile phone game based around Kallio, called 'Mika Kallio GP'.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

MotoGP career statistics[edit]

Seas Class Bike Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
2001 125cc Honda RS125R Ajo Motorsport 2 0 0 0 0 0 NC  –
2002 125cc Honda RS125R Ajo Motorsport 16 0 0 0 0 78 11th  –
2003 125cc Honda RS125R Ajo Motorsport 16 0 1 0 0 88 11th  –
KTM 125 FPR KTM
2004 125cc KTM 125 FPR Red Bull KTM 16 0 1 0 0 86 10th  –
2005 125cc KTM 125 FPR Red Bull KTM 16 4 10 8 3 237 2nd  –
2006 125cc KTM 125 FPR Red Bull KTM 16 3 11 4 1 262 2nd  –
2007 250cc KTM 250 FPR Red Bull KTM 17 2 4 2 2 157 7th  –
2008 250cc KTM 250 FPR Red Bull KTM 16 3 6 0 2 196 3rd  –
2009 MotoGP Ducati GP9 Pramac Racing 16 0 0 0 0 71 15th  –
Ducati Marlboro
2010 MotoGP Ducati GP10 Pramac Racing 16 0 0 0 0 43 17th  –
2011 Moto2 Suter MMXI Marc VDS Racing Team 17 0 1 0 0 61 16th  –
2012 Moto2 Kalex Moto2 Marc VDS Racing Team 17 0 1 0 0 130 6th  –
2013 Moto2 Kalex Moto2 Marc VDS Racing Team 17 1 4 1 1 188 4th  –
2014 Moto2 Kalex Moto2 Marc VDS Racing Team 18 3 11 3 3 289 2nd  –
Total 216 16 50 18 12 1886 0

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Pts
2001 125cc Honda JPN RSA SPA FRA ITA CAT NED GBR GER
Ret
CZE POR VAL
Ret
PAC AUS MAL BRA NC 0
2002 125cc Honda JPN
Ret
RSA
12
SPA
5
FRA
8
ITA
Ret
CAT
9
NED
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
9
CZE
10
POR
8
BRA
8
PAC
6
MAL
7
AUS
Ret
VAL
16
11th 78
2003 125cc Honda JPN
11
RSA
7
SPA
16
FRA
Ret
ITA
13
CAT
7
NED
11
GBR
7
GER
10
11th 88
KTM CZE
4
POR
Ret
BRA
19
PAC
7
MAL
2
AUS
Ret
VAL
Ret
2004 125cc KTM RSA
12
SPA
Ret
FRA
6
ITA
Ret
CAT
9
NED
Ret
BRA
8
GER
5
GBR
4
CZE
Ret
POR
2
JPN
Ret
QAT
4
MAL
Ret
AUS
Ret
VAL
Ret
10th 86
2005 125cc KTM SPA
2
POR
1
CHN
11
FRA
3
ITA
Ret
CAT
3
NED
Ret
GBR
7
GER
1
CZE
2
JPN
1
MAL
2
QAT
2
AUS
5
TUR
Ret
VAL
1
2nd 237
2006 125cc KTM SPA
4
QAT
2
TUR
Ret
CHN
1
FRA
2
ITA
6
CAT
Ret
NED
1
GBR
2
GER
8
CZE
2
MAL
2
AUS
2
JPN
1
POR
3
VAL
2
2nd 262
2007 250cc KTM QAT
Ret
SPA
Ret
TUR
6
CHN
5
FRA
7
ITA
Ret
CAT
6
GBR
6
NED
8
GER
2
CZE
3
RSM
Ret
POR
Ret
JPN
1
AUS
Ret
MAL
4
VAL
1
7th 157
2008 250cc KTM QAT
3
SPA
1
POR
3
CHN
1
FRA
5
ITA
4
CAT
Ret
GBR
1
NED
7
GER
4
CZE
5
RSM
Ret
IND
C
JPN
4
AUS
3
MAL
Ret
VAL
11
3rd 196
2009 MotoGP Ducati QAT
8
JPN
8
SPA
Ret
FRA
Ret
ITA
13
CAT
9
NED
Ret
USA GER
14
GBR
10
CZE
Ret
IND
8
RSM
7
POR
Ret
AUS
9
MAL
10
VAL
9
15th 71
2010 MotoGP Ducati QAT
Ret
SPA
7
FRA
13
ITA
Ret
GBR
13
NED
11
CAT
12
GER
Ret
USA
9
CZE
Ret
IND
Ret
RSM
Ret
ARA
14
JPN
15
MAL
12
AUS
11
POR VAL 17th 43
2011 Moto2 Suter QAT
20
SPA
17
POR
Ret
FRA
Ret
CAT
8
GBR
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
17
GER
Ret
CZE
13
IND
9
RSM
15
ARA
10
JPN
10
AUS
16
MAL
6
VAL
2
16th 61
2012 Moto2 Kalex QAT
10
SPA
7
POR
9
FRA
5
CAT
9
GBR
10
NED
10
GER
2
ITA
11
IND
4
CZE
9
RSM
4
ARA
15
JPN
16
MAL
6
AUS
Ret
VAL
7
6th 130
2013 Moto2 Kalex QAT
5
AME
3
SPA
Ret
FRA
2
ITA
5
CAT
9
NED
4
GER
12
IND
7
CZE
1
GBR
6
RSM
9
ARA
5
MAL
4
AUS
7
JPN
2
VAL
14
4th 188
2014 Moto2 Kalex QAT
2
AME
4
ARG
7
SPA
1
FRA
1
ITA
6
CAT
4
NED
3
GER
2
IND
1
CZE
2
GBR
2
RSM
2
ARA
7
JPN
5
AUS
4
MAL
2
VAL
Ret
2nd 289

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mika KALLIO". motogp.com. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  2. ^ http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/v4/l0/s39/e9331/sport_lng0_spo39_evt9331_sto772348.shtml
  3. ^ http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/v4/l0/s39/e9331/sport_lng0_spo39_evt9331_sto772451.shtml
  4. ^ "Mika Kallio äänestettiin toistamiseen Vuoden suomalaiseksi moottoriurheilijaksi". Plaza.fi (in Finnish). 6 November 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Wright, David (19 October 2008). "Pramac confirm Kallio, Canepa for 2009". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Mika Kallio Finger Injury (photo)". motogpworld.net (MotoGP World). 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  7. ^ "Mika Kallio forced to miss Laguna Seca". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  8. ^ "Stoner out of action for three races, Kallio to join Hayden in Ducati Marlboro team". motogp.com (Dorna Sports). 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  9. ^ "Kallio signs deal with Pramac Ducati". Insidebikes (Carole Nash). 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  10. ^ "Kallio and Pramac Racing part ways after Australian round". motogp.com (Dorna Sports). 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Kallio joins Redding at Marc VDS Racing". motogp.com (Dorna Sports). 7 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Our Games". Tracebit. Tracebit Ltd. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 

External links[edit]