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Mika Kallio hoping to turn the Finnish motorsport spotlight onto two wheels
Finnish youngster Mika Kallio enters the 125cc World Championship this season hoping to turn the motorsport spotlight in his country onto two wheels. The Scandinavian outpost has produced top four-wheel drivers in recent years but the 19 year old opted to follow his father's footsteps into the word of motorcycling, lifting national titles in ``ice-bikes´´ and 125cc road racing.
Having made his Grand Prix debut in Germany last season Kallio added a second appearance at Valencia, before securing a full time ride with the Red Devil Honda team in 2002. ``I´m very excited by the prospect of competing in the World Championship although as a new rider it will all be about learning as much as possible this year,´´ he explained. ``The first few races will for sure be the most difficult but I hope to be scoring points by the middle of the season.´´
Kallio lapped quicker than several of his fellow rookies at the recent IRTA tests at the Circuit of Catalunya but insisted that he did not expect to be challenging for honours until the later rounds of the season. ``My feeling with the bike improves every time I ride it and things got better for the team at Catalunya. We now have two motorcycles to work with and the benefit of that is showing through my times on the track. If all goes well then maybe I can start to look at scoring high finishes towards the ends of the season but I am not really thinking about that at the moment. I have to learn as much possible as quickly as possible and prove to everyone that I deserve my place in the World Championship.´´
15 years ago