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Sep 22, 2013

Kallio Wins Debut CIV/Italian Superbike Races, At Mugello

CIV/Italian Superbike Championship: Mika Kallio (136) takes the checkered flag at Mugello.
Mugello, Italy - 22 September 2013: Mika Kallio dominated proceedings on his CIV Superbike debut at Mugello this weekend, taking pole position and both race wins aboard the Michelin shod Thevent Racing Team BMW HP4.

Standing in for Sébastien Gimbert, who was on endurance duty for the team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Kallio was immediately up to speed on the BMW HP4, taking pole position on Friday by half a second from regular CIV competitor, Ivan Goi.

In Saturday's first Superbike race Kallio wasted no time in stamping his authority on proceedings, taking advantage of a pole position start to lead into the first turn. He was briefly headed on the second lap by Ivan Goi, but quickly reclaimed the lead and pulled away to win by a comfortable margin, setting a new lap record in the process.

Race two on Sunday was almost a carbon copy, except Kallio wasn't headed once in the race and took a lights to flag victory with an impressive display of speed and consistency aboard the #136 BMW HP4. The Finn broke the lap record once again during the race, while his margin of victory over second placed Leandro Mercado was eight seconds at the chequered flag.

The Mugello weekend was a one off appearance in the Italian Championship for Kallio, who will return to Moto2 action in the Grand Prix of Aragon next weekend. The 30-year-old Finn is one of only six race winners in Moto2 this season but, after this weekend, he'll be the only rider on the grid at Aragon to have taken both Moto2 and Italian Superbike wins in the same season!

Mika Kallio #136 // Pole Position // Round 9 - 1st // Round 10 - 1st
"With pole position, the lap record and two race wins, I think it's fair to say we've had a good weekend. Wins are always special; it doesn't matter whether they come in MotoGP, the Italian Championship or even ice racing in Finland, the feeling is the same. It's also good for the team and for Michelin, as they've put a lot of hard work into this season and, until this weekend they'd not been rewarded with a victory. The winning margin was quite big, but the races weren't easy by any means. I wanted to push from the start, build a gap and then manage the race from the front, which is what I ended up doing. Mentally that's quite hard, as it's more difficult to remain focussed when you're out at the front on your own. Now we need to somehow carry some of this feeling to Aragon with us next weekend."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We knew Mika was going to be competitive as soon as we saw his lap times on the BMW HP4 and Michelin tyres during a two-day test at Nogaro, but we weren't really expecting him to dominate to such an extent at Mugello this weekend. He was pretty much inch perfect in every session, taking pole position and both race wins with a master class in consistency, aboard a bike that's very different to his Moto2 machine and on which he's still covered less than 1000km. With Sébastien's injury at Vallelunga it's been a difficult debut year in CIV Superbike for the team, but Mika's performance this weekend means we at least end the season on a high and I'd like to thank him for that."