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Kallio impresses team on premier class debut

Rookie Mika Kallio’s eighth place at round one of the 2009 season in his first MotoGP appearance was well received by the Pramac Racing team.

A solid debut performance for Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio which earned him eighth place in the re-scheduled Monday night race at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar gives him a sound platform to build on in his rookie MotoGP campaign.

The signs were good for the satellite Ducati man at the Official MotoGP Test in Jerez as he made his final preparations, two weeks before his first race, by finishing the BMW M Award showdown in sixth place as a demonstration of his abilities - and having qualified tenth in Qatar it was game on for the calm and collected Finn.

In the race itself Kallio lost two positions early on, meaning that he had to battle his way back up to eighth from twelfth during the course of the race and he even appeared to be catching Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen for seventh in the latter stages.

Pramac Racing’s Technical Director Fabiano Sterlacchini praised the 26 year-old afterwards, commenting, “We are really happy with Mika, because as well as finishing in eighth place, the riders that were in front of him didn’t have a much faster rhythm. Unfortunately he didn't start that well so over the first few laps he lost some time, otherwise he might have finished in an even better position. But we are pleased because the pace he maintained throughout the race was excellent for his debut.”

Meanwhile, Kallio himself stated, “Before coming here I thought if I could finish in the top ten I would be satisfied, so eighth position is therefore a really good result. I didn’t start the race brilliantly, but I managed to maintain a good pace once we got going. I tried to catch the group in front of me, but after a few laps I just thought I’d keep my rhythm and the strategy paid off.”

Kallio went on to add, “In the last few laps I could see that I was getting closer and closer to Vermeulen and I think if I’d had a couple of more laps I could have passed him. Anyway in general we had a positive weekend and we will try to continue in this direction in Japan.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, Mika Kallio, Pramac Racing

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