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Kallio rates Motegi eighth place above Qatar result

Kallio rates Motegi eighth place above Qatar result

Finnish rookie reflects on sterling race with completely new setup.

Two eighth places from his opening pair of MotoGP races would seem difficult to separate in terms of achievement, but Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio had little doubt that his Japanese top ten finish was a more stellar performance than that of his Qatar debut.

“It’s the same position as at Losail, but I can be more pleased with this race because I started from the penultimate spot on the grid,” said Kallio after the race, for which only teammate Niccoló Canepa qualified further down the order. “We didn’t have a good feeling all weekend, but in the race it all seemed to go a little better, and my start was even better than in Qatar.”

Kallio made a step into the unknown on the Sunday race, trying out a new setting at a track where he had enjoyed barely 45 minutes of dry track time with a MotoGP bike. He added that “I was worried about the completely new setup, which meant that I had to take a few risks. I was able to improve my times with every lap, and I am very proud to have finished as the second highest placing Ducati.

“In Jerez we will have to do better in qualifying, but we can definitely do even better in the race,” added the Finnish rookie, who won the 250cc race at the Spanish track last year.

MotoGP, 2009, POLINI GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Mika Kallio, Pramac Racing

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