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Preseason preparations on ice for the Kallio brothers

Preseason preparations on ice for the Kallio brothers

Preseason preparations on ice for the Kallio brothers

Far from ruining their preparations for the 125cc World Championship, heavy snowfall and temperatures as low as –10ºC have given road racing siblings Mika and Vesa Kallio an extra opportunity to hone their riding skills ahead of the official tests. The Finnish pair are preparing to take part in the final round of their national ice racing championship – a series which younger brother Vesa has been contesting all winter.

"We will use modified motocross bikes with tyres equipped with special studs and wear special riding gear which protects us from the cold," explained the 23 year old, who will be contesting his rookie 125cc season with Team Hungary in 2004

"Races are run on frozen lakes and it is really good fun. We need ice thickness of 400mm for races with spectators, and a minimum of 100mm for training. In Finland cold winter time is so long, that this is only way to practice with bikes. Also this is very effective training for summer"

Vesa's preseason preparations have also included more conventional means of testing and last weekend he spent two days lapping alongside new team-mate Imre Toth at Mugello.

"First of all, it was great to learn Mugello," continued Kallio, who finished second in the 250cc European Championship last season and made three wildcard Grand Prix appearances. "Now I have visited six circuits on the 2004 MotoGP calendar where I have at least been able to test. I had some technical problems at Mugello, but the second day was positive, even though it was raining. The team were actually quite surprised by my speed in the wet."

However, despite his aptitude to perform in adverse conditions, Kallio said that he was looking forward to enjoying warmer climates at Barcelona and Jerez. "I am certainly hoping for dry weather at the official tests later this month because I need more laps in the dry with my new Aprilia," he concluded.

Tags:
125cc, 2004, Mika Kallio

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