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Kallio beginning to make his mark after first finish in the points

Kallio beginning to make his mark after first finish in the points

Kallio beginning to make his mark after first finish in the points

Finnish youngster Mika Kallio scored his first career World Championship points last weekend in Welkom, after a highly creditable 12th place finish, caught up with 19 year-old to find out how his debut season on the world stage is going. - How pleased have you been with the start you have made to the season?

Mika Kallio - I think that we have got quite a good start for our rookie season, because we have been in the top 20 in qualifying in both races, and in South Africa I also finally saw the chequered flag for the first time at GP level, which of course is quite a relief for me. - Did you think you would already be scoring championship points at this stage?

M.K - It was a very big surprise for me that I scored my first points in this race. Before the beginning of the season nobody in our team was expecting points from these overseas races, but the whole team has done a very good job and we have made progress in every practice. $$$To get the first points this early makes everything much easier for me, and now I can concentrate on improving my competitiveness in races. From my point of view, it was almost even more significant to find out that I was able to lap at almost the same speed as the top group. Now I just have to learn to keep the speed from the start to the finish line and then, some day who knows... - Has your performance in South Africa received much coverage in Finland?

M.K - Yes, all the TV channels and main papers noticed my result even though on the same weekend there were 3 Finnish drivers in the top 4 of the Rally World Championship. Of course, everyone is expecting better and better results here in Finland, because they are used to seeing Finns on the podium in almost all motor racing world championships. But it seems that most of the sports reports did see the value of my result.

$$$ - What are your hopes for the rest of the season?

M.K - My key objective is still the same - to learn as much as possible this year in order to be more competitive next season. Of course I will try to get closer and closer to the top riders, but I must also try to avoid crashes to get as many laps as possible from every circuit. I know that this is the only way to reach the top riders. It is no use to be fast for a few laps and then crash out. I am quite confident that my time will come if I am just patient and work hard enough.

125cc, 2002, Mika Kallio

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