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Qatar comes back to haunt Kallio and KTM

Qatar comes back to haunt Kallio and KTM

Qatar comes back to haunt Kallio and KTM

Austrian manufacturer KTM clinched their first-ever world championship by winning the 125 constructors' title on Sunday, but it was tinged with some sadness as Finnish rider Mika Kallio just missed out on the riders' crown. Kallio won the final round of the season at Valencia but came up five points short of eventual world champion Thomas Luthi – the amount of points he lost in Qatar when team-mate Gabor Talmasci snatched victory from him on the line.

Kallio's win at the Ricardo Tormo circuit was his fourth of the season and came after he passed Italian Mattia Pasini at the final corner after an exciting battle also involving Talmasci. As well as his four victories, Kallio also managed eight pole positions in what was a hugely successful 2005, but unsurprisingly the Finn could not help but reflect on what might have been in the championship race.

"I won the race but still I'm a little disappointed to have lost the world championship," declared the Finnish rider. "All I could do was win the race but it was not enough for the riders' title, although KTM have won the manufacturers' championship. I tried to pass Pasini earlier but he was braking very late so I waited until the final corner. This was an important victory for me, I wanted to show everyone I could win the race here."

The 125cc manufacturers' championship adds to KTM's already established reputation as world champions in off-road competition, but technical and managing director, Harald Bartol, was also a little disappointed about Kallio's narrow failure.

"Mika rode a perfect race and got the result that I expected of him. Winning the constructors' championship for KTM is satisfying, but in the riders' championship I was always worried that Mika would lose by five points - which are the points he lost with the result at Qatar when Gabor won the race."

125cc, 2005, G. P. DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Mika Kallio

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