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All smiles at Red Bull KTM

All smiles at Red Bull KTM

All smiles at Red Bull KTM

Red Bull KTM rider Mika Kallio became the first Finnish rider in 30 years to win a road race grand prix with his brilliant victory at the betandwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal.

In a dramatic photo finish, the 22-year-old Finn won by just 0.008s after a hard fought 23- lap race. Spanish Aprilia rider Hector Faubel finished second behind Kallio after an all-out sprint to the finish line. The last Finnish rider to win a road race GP was Pentti Korhonen who won the 350cc race in the Yugoslavian Grand Prix at Opatija in 1975.

Owing to his win yesterday and his second place finish at Jerez last week, Kallio now leads the 125cc World Championship with 45 points.

"Of course I'm very happy to win my first GP, it is a long time since a Finnish rider has been at the top of the podium," commented Kallio. "The race was difficult because I led for many laps, and sometimes it is easier to follow."

"I let Faubel past to check his pace and then I knew on the last lap I needed to be leading in the final corner, my rear tyre was sliding a little. My bike was fast so I was able to hold him off in the straight."

Team manager Harald Bartol commented: "A great day for KTM and Mika. It is a fantastic victory for everyone. To be honest, I didn't think another rider would get so close to Mika today but the conditions after the rain meant that he could not repeat his qualifying speed."

The Austrian went on to comment on the performances of his two other riders, Gabor Talmacsi, who crashed out of the lead on lap 2, and Julian Simon who took ninth after a tough battle in the pack.

"Gabor was unlucky after being at the front early on in the race, but he should be fit for China," said Bartol. "Julian showed his potential as a racer with his ride today, it was a tough battle for him," he added. The Hungarian rider had no broken bones but is suffering severe bruising to his right ankle and some pain in his back and ribs.

Tags:
125cc, 2005, betandwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL

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