Seventh for Kallio in shortened Moto2 race at Phillip Island
Mika Kallio took a hard fought seventh place finish in today’s shortened Australian Moto2 Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
The 30-year-old Finn dropped a position from the start, but had fought his way up to fifth by the end of the sixth lap. Kallio then got involved in a battle with Alex de Angelis and Dominique Aegerter, but was forced to concede fifth and then sixth place as his rear tyre started shedding rubber after just nine laps.
Today’s Australian Moto2 Grand Prix was contested over just 13 laps, just over half the original race distance, following concerns about rider safety due to excessive tyre degradation on the recently resurfaced Phillip Island circuit. The shortened race was won by Pol Espargaro, who now goes 16 points clear of Scott Redding at the top of the Moto2 World Championship standings.
Redding was absent today, having sustained a fractured radius in a crash during qualifying. The 20-year-old Briton underwent surgery at the Epworth Hospital last night, with a plate and six screws being inserted in his wrist by renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Andrew Oppy. Redding’s rehabilitation programme will start in three to four days, with the final round of the season at Valencia the current target for his return to racing.
Livio Loi finished today’s Australian Moto3 Grand Prix in 18th position, once again missing out on a points scoring finish by less than a second.
The 16-year-old Belgian, starting from 23rd position on the grid, initially lost ground as riders crashed in front of him on the opening lap, but he’d fought his way back into 18th position at the midpoint of the race. Loi looked to be closing quickly on the group battling for ninth position, but a delay passing Ana Carrasco meant he ran out of laps and eventually finished 18th, after being passed by Arthur Sissis five laps from the end.
Mika Kallio #36 // 7th
“I got a reasonable start, running with the leading group, but I couldn’t find a way past the riders in front of me. There are three good passing places here at Phillip Island, but I just didn’t have the speed into turns one and four to get close enough on the brakes to pass. I was also fast over Lukey Heights and tried to stay on the outside to put me on the inside at MG corner, but the door was shut on every lap. Where I was faster than the guys in front I was able to close right onto their rear wheel but, again, it was impossible to pass. Nine laps in I started to feel vibration from the rear, which got worse with every lap. I knew I was losing rubber from the tyre, as we had the same problem yesterday morning, but there was nothing I could do. My lap time increased by almost a second and first de Angelis and then Aegerter went past me and I was forced to settle for seventh. I’m sorry for Scott that I wasn’t able to limit his losses this weekend.”
Livio Loi #11 // 18th // @LivioLoi
“I got a reasonable start, but then I lost contact with the group ahead of me as a result of the chaos and the crashes on the opening lap. I got my head down and managed to bridge the gap, dropping into the 1’37s bracket a couple of times as I chased. I managed to make contact, but then I waited too long before passing Carrasco and that allowed the group ahead to pull away and Sissis to close from behind, eventually passing me with five laps to go. I’m happy with my lap times, which were really consistent on a clear track, but I need to be more aggressive with the overtakes in future.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“A disappointing weekend all round, really. We knew such a short race wasn’t going to particularly suit Mika, but he got a good start and looked like he was going to be able to challenge for the podium in the opening few laps. But then the rear tyre, the cause of so many problems this weekend, went off and it was all he could do to hold onto seventh position at the flag. Livio also got a good start, but he was too hesitant working his way through the field. If he’d been more aggressive then he’d have made contact with the group ahead and could have been battling for a top ten finish today. He needs to learn from this, as he only has two more opportunities to get into the top ten this season. Scott’s surgery went well yesterday and he’ll start the rehabilitation programme in a few days. I know losing the lead in the championship will have hurt him a lot today, but his focus must now be on his own recovery, ahead of a return to racing at Valencia.”