MotoGP: Lecuona Out for Portimao, Kallio to Replace
Mika Kallio has been announced as Iker Lecuona’s replacement for this weekend’s season finale after Lecuona tested positive for COVID-19.
The Spanish rider was forced to miss the European Grand Prix after his brother tested positive for the Coronavirus, however, six days later, Lecuona was given the all-clear to return to his Red Bull KTM Tech 3 team. Sadly for the 19-year-old, his return was cut short after he tested positive.
Herve Poncheral’s team did not run a replacement in Valencia but have called upon KTM test-rider Mika Kallio to replace the MotoGP rookie.
Speaking ahead of the Grand Prix, Kallio said:
Mika Kallio – Red Bull KTM Tech 3“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. 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 Tech3. 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. The finale is always a special moment for everyone and it’s always nice to be there with the best bikes and the best guys arounds, I always enjoy it a lot. We don’t have anything to expect there, we do our job and we will see where we end up. When a rider puts the helmet on and the red lights turn off, I think the race mood will be there immediately. So, I think it’s going to be an interesting weekend.”
This weekend is also a big weekend for MotoGP winner, Miguel Oliveira, who for the first time since his DNF in 2012 will have a home Grand Prix, albeit behind closed doors.
Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Tech 3“I’m very excited for the last race, which is my home race. It’s a dream coming true to race in Portugal with the MotoGP. Unfortunately, we will not have the public there, but I still think it’s a nice way to conclude the season. I hope we can get a very, very good result, be comfortable with the bike from Friday and do a great race to say goodbye to Red Bull KTM Tech3.”
The finale of the MotoGP World Championship gets underway at 10:10 local time on Friday, for free practice one.
Featured image: MotoGP.com