KTM tester Kallio to replace Tech3's Lecuona at MotoGP Portugal finale

KTM test rider Mika Kallio will replace Iker Lecuona at Tech3 in the final round of the 2020 MotoGP season in Portugal

KTM tester Kallio to replace Tech3's Lecuona at MotoGP Portugal finale

Lecuona missed the European GP earlier this month after being forced into a 10-day quarantine when his brother and assistant tested positive for coronavirus.

The Spanish rider was initially cleared to take part in the Valencia GP at the same venue the following weekend, but a subsequent PCR test returned a positive result, ruling him out of the race.

Tech3 has now announced that Lecuona will also be absent from this weekend's curtain-closing round at Portimao, with Kallio being called in to act as his replacement.

Kallio has been a part of the KTM project since its inception in 2017, and competed in the final six rounds of the 2019 season when Johann Zarco was ousted from the factory team.

"First of all, it's not an easy situation for the team and for Iker I'm sorry that he will have to skip this race as well," said Kallio.

"So, I'll jump on the bike, which is not that easy at the moment, because I haven't been on the bike not too often this year.

"Obviously, it's going to be interesting to see what my speed is and how I can learn the new track and many other things.

"Of course, the crew is new for me, so I have many things to learn. It's a big challenge and we'll go and do everything as best as possible.

"It's always an honour to race with a MotoGP bike and also being with Hervé and Red Bull KTM Tech3.

"I know them for a long time and it's good to come back to racing, even if it's only the last race of the season.

Lecuona currently sits 19th in the championship in his rookie season, with a best finish of ninth in Teruel GP.

Kallio, a runner-up in Moto2 in 2014, will be joined at Tech3 by incumbent Miguel Oliveira, who famously won the Styrian GP after taking advantage of a last-lap duel between Jack Miller and factory KTM rider Pol Espargaro.

"Mika Kallio will be riding for us, which is a great honour," said team principal Herve Poncharal. "We've been following Mika for many years, we saw what he did in 125cc, in 250cc, then in Moto2 and in MotoGP.

"He has a very strong link with the KTM MotoGP project, this is almost his baby. Because of the unfortunate situation of Iker Lecuona, Mika will be with us to celebrate this very last race of the 2020 season and we can't wait to start working with him.

"We know we shouldn't have too many expectations. I told Mika that he shouldn't have any pressure on him, just enjoy the moment, have fun, be part of the team and leave this very last MotoGP weekend together with positive vibes."

shares
comments
Espargaro's five KTM MotoGP podiums in 2020 'like a dream'
Previous article

Espargaro's five KTM MotoGP podiums in 2020 'like a dream'

Next article

Rossi: Yamaha needs serious programme with MotoGP test team

Rossi: Yamaha needs serious programme with MotoGP test team
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022