Kallio: Points the "minimum" after Aragon "warm-up"

KTM rider Mika Kallio says he is targeting regular points for the rest of the season after only managing to finish 17th in his first race as Johann Zarco's replacement.

Kallio: Points the "minimum" after Aragon "warm-up"
Listen to this article

Long-time KTM tester Kallio, who has been picked to replace Zarco for the remainder of 2019, was the Austrian marque's sole factory rider in the Aragon Grand Prix after Pol Espargaro broke his wrist in a practice crash prior to qualifying.

The 36-year-old was making his first race start in over a year, his programme of wildcard outings last year having been curtailed by an injury he picked up at the Sachsenring.

From 18th on the grid, Kallio climbed as high as 14th but ended up slipping out of the points as he suffered from a degrading rear tyre in the closing stages.

Read Also:

He conceded a lack of race fitness cost him however, admitting that he "braked a bit too early" for the first corner and missing a chance to make up more ground.

"Barcelona [last year was my last race], a long time ago," Kallio continued. "It wasn’t easy to find a rhythm and the other guys have already been racing for many races.

"It’s really not easy to jump in and be on the level that they are. Of course we saw this weekend it’s not happening suddenly like this. We need laps.

"We managed to do the laps without mistakes, [the] only thing I was disappointed for was what we did in the race, because it seemed we could take a couple of points.

"I don’t know if I made a mistake with tyre choice, I chose the hard ones front and rear and it seems it wasn’t the best option. But this weekend we can say of course I didn’t have any experience of how the tyre would behave, the soft or the hard.

"Maybe the hard was the safer solution but it seems it wasn’t the right choice."

Kallio added that a points finish would be his "minimum" target for the next round in Thailand. The Finn has previous experience of the Buriram circuit from winter testing last year.

"We can say this weekend was a kind of warm-up for us to come back to the races," Kallio conceded. "Then I think we can set some target for the other weekends and definitely we need to collect some points. That’s the minimum we can do.

"Let’s go to Thailand and we see how everything goes. Hopefully over there I don’t have face the problem I had here. All weekend I couldn’t get the tyres working in a proper way. I was missing a lot of grip I needed in the race. So hopefully this will be [easier]."

Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Mika Kallio, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Dovizioso: Barcelona “cut off our legs” in title fight
Previous article

Dovizioso: Barcelona “cut off our legs” in title fight

Next article

Iannone: All I want is equal machinery from Aprilia

Iannone: All I want is equal machinery from Aprilia
Load comments
The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022 Prime

The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022

Rider salaries in MotoGP have dropped significantly in the last four years, mainly due to the effects of the pandemic. But it has also changed due to a change in contractual models followed by manufacturers. German Garcia Casanova investigates.

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021