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Kallio comfortable on first Desmosedici outing

Kallio comfortable on first Desmosedici outing

Moving from 250cc to 800cc machinery at the start of this week Mika Kallio was immediately comfortable on the Ducati MotoGP bike in Valencia.

Graduating from the quarter litre category to MotoGP over the close season, having spent seven years in the smaller classes, Mika Kallio got his first samples of an 800cc Ducati prototype on Monday and Tuesday, enjoying sessions in both dry and wet conditions at the first winter test in Valencia.

Having undertaken his first full season on a Honda in 2002, Kallio spent the subsequent six years with KTM - four in the 125cc class and the last two in 250cc – and he is looking forward to the next chapter in his career having been given his big break by satellite Ducati outfit Alice Team.

The Finn stated this week that he found the initial transition less of a shock to the system than moving from 125cc to 250cc machinery as he did in the ´06-´07 winter tests - and he was fifteenth on the Monday timesheets, two seconds off pace-setter Casey Stoner, but faster than his new Alice colleague Niccolo Canepa who has tested the 800cc Desmosedici on numerous occasions previously.

In the rain on Tuesday Kallio was fifth on a timesheet of seven MotoGP riders as he took it steady in the tricky conditions.

Describing the experience of finally getting onto premier class machinery Kallio said, `It was my dream come true. The first time with a MotoGP bike and the feeling was quite good all the time. There were no problems, we just needed to do some laps and get the feeling with the bike. Everything went quite well, the lap times were ok.´

Although Kallio admitted Ducati had provided him with a reduced power version of the Desmosedici to assist his introduction to the bike, he was still pleased at how easy he had found his initial ride, stating, `For me I was a little bit surprised at how smooth the engine was.´

`I expected a little bit more of an aggressive bike but the power was a bit reduced and although I´m sure it will be more difficult when there is full power my first opinion was that the bike was quite easy to handle. The change of direction was very fast compared to 250cc and the bike is much heavier, but you couldn't feel it.´

The next step in Kallio´s MotoGP preparation will be the late November test at Jerez in southern Spain where it is provisionally planned for him to move from the Desmosedici GP8, which he used this week, onto the GP9.

Summarising this week´s test Alice Team Technical Director Fabiano Sterlacchini commented, `The two days were very important for us. Our two young riders, Mika and Niccolo, had the possibility to get to know the bikes characteristics and the method of work of the team. For Mika, it was the first time he tried a MotoGP bike and therefore he had to understand every single detail. Both of them have worked really well and they were able to give us important information at each run. I am very happy, it seems like everything has started in the best way possible.´

MotoGP, 2008, Mika Kallio, Alice Team

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