Checa MotoGP Ducati
MotoGP racing is a tough, unforgiving endeavor. But it’s also a business. At the conclusion of the Australian MotoGP Sunday, Pramac Ducati – the satellite Ducati MotoGP team – announced that Finnish rider Mika Kallio will be replaced (most likely by Spaniard Carlos Checa).
Paddock chatter says Checa has been recruited from the Althea Ducati World Superbike team for the final two rounds of the 2010 GP season.
Kallio, who has been with the Pramac Ducati MotoGP Team since 2009, has had his performances severely hampered by a shoulder injury incurred at round three in Le Mans.
Mika Kallio says: “It is since Japan’s race that the pain in my left shoulder, injured in Le Mans race, has become too intense,” explains the MotoGP Ducati rider.
“I immediately talked to the team who understood my situation and agreed that I would try to race in Malaysia and Australia and then decide to continue or not in the last two races.
“Unfortunately, despite the good race today [11th], the pain didn’t allow me to perform in the best way, and together with the Team, we decided to conclude our partnership today. It has been a hard choice for me, but in this way I’ll be able to find the best physical condition and think about my future.”
Kallio then thanked his team: “I would like to thank Paolo Campinoti that was very helpful in managing this situation. I would like to also thank all the technical staff of the Pramac Racing Team with which I have found myself very well in this two years and I’ll always remember them with great affection.”
In 2009 Kallio stepped in for Casey Stoner on the factory Ducati, riding to a best season finish of 7th, following that up with two 8th place finished on the Pramac motorcycle. Kallio is rumored to be headed to Moto2 next year, with details to be forthcoming.
Paolo Campinoti says: “I would never like to find myself in these situation, but when a rider asks you to not run because he cannot give 100% for the Team, you don’t think to do any more than accept his gesture of sincerity,” explains the Pramac Ducati Team principal and is a testament to the emotional trauma these types of situations foster.
Meanwhile, Checa, a World SBK regular and former Ducati MotoGP factory team rider, sets his sights on Spain and Portugal, certainly eager to mix it up with his former rivals.
For 2011 Pramac is expected to sign Loris Capirossi, with the second rider yet to be decided. Checa has already signed to compete once again for Althea Ducati in WSBK.