Mika Kallio retains KTM MotoGP test role for 2019

KTM has confirmed that Mika Kallio will continue as its test rider in the 2019 MotoGP season, despite missing the second half of this year with injury

Mika Kallio retains KTM MotoGP test role for 2019

Kallio has been part of the KTM MotoGP project since its inception.

He gave the bike its debut in the 2016 season finale at Valencia and has made six wildcard appearances since then.

The 35-year-old Finn seriously injured his right knee ligament in a crash during his seventh wildcard at the Sachsenring this year, and was forced out of action for the rest of 2018.

While he was replaced by Randy de Puniet for this season, it was widely thought Kallio would continue as a test rider in 2019 - albeit with fewer wildcard opportunities.

Having now been officially confirmed, Kallio said he is "ahead of the schedule" with his recovery.

"I'm doing well with my recovery, and the programme is laid out so I will hopefully be 100% by the time we need to start work for 2019," he said.

"I'm ahead of schedule but there are also days where I make progress and sometimes when it doesn't feel like much, so it is day-by-day.

"I'm wearing a splint to protect the knee from bad torsion and I'm working hard on mobility and building up the muscle around the joint again.

"I have been cycling and can walk without crutches although it is still too early for me to try the bike.

"It's great to stay with KTM. We've made some good gains with the RC16 and I think you can see that through the race times in 2018.

"It will be exciting to see how much further we can keep moving closer to that lead group."

KTM motorsports director Mike Leitner added: "It's great to see Mika up and mobile and focussed on making a full recovery as soon as possible.

"It was also positive that he could already make the trip to Austria to talk about our MotoGP plans for the future.

"He's been an important part of our work from the start of the project.

"It makes perfect sense for us to continue together and be able to use his speed, his knowledge and all the experience he has gained so far."

Kallio is set to be partnered by Dani Pedrosa in an expanded KTM test team, as the Spanish veteran retires from racing after 13 years in MotoGP.

shares
comments
Crutchlow wants Honda's 'full support' to beat Ducatis in MotoGP

Previous article

Crutchlow wants Honda's 'full support' to beat Ducatis in MotoGP

Next article

Ducati must change to achieve MotoGP greatness

Ducati must change to achieve MotoGP greatness
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Mika Kallio
Teams AB Motoracing
Author David Gruz
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021