MotoGP: KTM Renews Deal To Keep Mika Kallio As Its Test Rider In 2019

MotoGP: KTM Renews Deal To Keep Mika Kallio As Its Test Rider In 2019

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MotoGP Announcement

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have renewed their contract with Mika Kallio and 2019 will be a fourth consecutive year of key testing development work for the former Grand Prix winner with the KTM RC16.

Earlier this week Mika Kallio travelled to Munderfing and the KTM Motorsports Headquarter for the first time since his crash and right knee ligament injury sustained during the German round of the current MotoGP campaign at the Sachsenring in July.

The 35 year old had recovered sufficiently from surgery to head to Austria to extend his association with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team as test rider and to continue his journey with a motorcycle he has been refining and curating since 2016.

Kallio: “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. 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.”

Pit Beirer (KTM Motorsports Director): “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.”

Red Bull KTM will face the sweeping turns of the MotorLand Aragon circuit this weekend for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon and the fourteenth round of the 2018 MotoGP season; the last European stop before the overseas stint in Thailand, Japan, Australia and Malaysia.

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