Espargaro: KTM needs a strong Kallio replacement

Espargaro: KTM needs a strong Kallio replacement
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Aug 1, 2018, 3:27 PM

It's crucial the KTM MotoGP team finds a good replacement for injured test rider Mika Kallio soon, according to Pol Espargaro.

Kallio suffered a heavy crash during practice for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, and had to withdraw from the weekend with ligament damage to his right knee.

The Finn underwent surgery on his knee last week, which could jeopardise his next planned wildcard appearance at the Red Bull Ring, as well as his testing duties for the Austrian manufacturer for the remainder of 2018.

Espargaro said it is crucial that KTM quickly finds someone capable to fill in for the Finn.

"We have a lot of things to test but the problem is that, who you [sign] knows this bike, the old bike and the new bike," said the Spaniard.

"You need to spend minimum one day with the old bike to let him know this bike.

"At the beginning the most important is that the rider needs to be good because it is a big change, it is not something small, the rider needs to be really good.

"After that, you need to spend one day with this guy using the old bike and then you need to give him the new bike, hoping that he could feel what we feel on the track."

Espargaro added that KTM's development has reached "a very critical moment", as changes to the RC16 could cause big issues like the ones Suzuki suffered last year with its engine specification choice.

"The situation now is not easy," he said. "We are in a very critical moment where the change that we must do, we need to be very careful.

"We are very close to the top and every single change can make a big problem, like Suzuki for example had last year. Maybe everything is gonna be slower now."

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Mika Kallio , Pol Espargaro
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Author David Gruz