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Bartol looking to keep Kallio in 250cc class

Bartol looking to keep Kallio in 250cc class

His title chase hampered by a crash with teammate Hiroshi Aoyama at Misano, Mika Kallio is being courted by Red Bull KTM to continue in 250cc for another year.

It´s the sight that every Team Manager dreads on raceday; nervous moments as teammates battle against each other, culminating in a DNF stamped alongside both riders´ names. That was the situation for Harald Bartol, head of Red Bull KTM, on Sunday afternoon in Misano.

Title challenger Mika Kallio and 2007 race runner-up Hiroshi Aoyama both fancied their chances at the San Marino circuit in the 250cc race, and were placed alongside each other over the course of the first two laps. Kallio collided with his Japanese teammate and brought both riders´ races to an early conclusion, leaving the title situation difficult for the Finnish star.

`We would have had a good chance today with our bike, but that´s the way it is,´ said a downbeat Bartol after the incident. `It appears that Hiro took a slightly different line, and that Mika was probably too close. The lucky thing was that Simoncelli only finished sixth.´

`We will be trying to get Mika back into the title fight, and we have some changes that we can probably bring to Indianapolis to try again,´ added the KTM boss, aiming to take a first title for the factory before Kallio´s possible departure at the end of the season.

`We are trying to keep him, but we have heard from Mika that he is looking for a MotoGP move. At the moment we have had no clear answer from him and, with so many of the top riders in 250cc already under contract, we will have to check our options,´ he concluded.

250cc, 2008, Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM 250

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