Kallio replaces Lecuona for MotoGP's Portugal finale

KTM test rider Mika Kallio will replace Iker Lecuona at Tech 3 in the final round of the 2020 MotoGP season in Portugal.

Kallio replaces Lecuona for MotoGP's 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.

Tech 3 has now announced that Lecunoa 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 honor to race with a MotoGP bike and also being with Hervé and Red Bull KTM Tech 3. 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 honor,” 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

Related video

Miller: "Unreal" to return to MotoGP podium at Valencia GP

Previous article

Miller: "Unreal" to return to MotoGP podium at Valencia GP

Next article

Espargaro: Five MotoGP podiums with KTM in 2020 "like a dream"

Espargaro: Five MotoGP podiums with KTM in 2020 "like a dream"
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Portuguese GP
Drivers Mika Kallio , Iker Lecuona
Teams Tech 3
Author Rachit Thukral
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez'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 Prime

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 Prime

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

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 Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime 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