Mika Kallio

2013 Barcelona MotoGP Preview: Could This Be The Weekend Where Everything Changes?

This is going to be a big weekend in MotoGP, perhaps one of the most significant in a long while. The outcome of Sunday's race is unlikely to be earth-shattering - the chance of the top three being entirely Spanish, and composed of two Repsol Hondas and a Factory Yamaha is pretty large - and the championship will look much the same on Sunday night as it does now. Yet this weekend will be key.

Much of the interest - and intrigue - revolves around the test on Monday. The most visible piece of the MotoGP puzzle will be in the Suzuki garage, where their brand new MotoGP machine is due to make its first real public debut. The bike has had a number of private tests, some more secretive than others, the latest being last week at Motegi with Randy de Puniet. The times that were leaked from that test were respectable, though with only test riders for competition, it is hard to put them into context.

At Barcelona, a public test, with official timing, and up against the full MotoGP field, there will be nowhere to hide. Will the Suzuki be able to match the times of the Hondas and Yamahas? Unlikely, the bike is still at an early stage of development. But it should be faster than the CRT machines, and close to the Ducati satellite bikes. De Puniet's first target will be himself, and the time he sets during practice and the race on the Aprilia CRT he rides for Aspar.

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Marc VDS Keep Redding And Kallio In Moto2, Sign Loi In Moto3

Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are to remain in Moto2 with the Marc VDS Racing team for the 2013 season. The team is to also expand into Moto3, adding young Belgian rider and former Red Bull Rookie Livio Loi.

The signing of Redding and Kallio brings to an end a saga over Redding's future which has lasted for several months now. The young British rider had been widely expected to make the move up to MotoGP this season, Redding clearly suffering as a result of his size on board a horsepower-limited Moto2 machine. At first, it looked like Redding would be part of the Ducati Junior team, the Englishman posting impressive times during private testing with Ducati, but the long, drawn-out process of putting that team together saw Redding drop out of the race. Redding was also very close to securing the San Carlo Gresini Honda ride, but the politics between Honda and Dorna over the spec ECU saw him passed over for the ride.

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2012 Motegi MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Of Close Racing, Hot Brakes, And Educating Marc Marquez

Another Brno. That is the hope of every MotoGP fan around the world after qualifying sessions like the one at Motegi on Saturday. The breathtaking battle in the Czech Republic, which saw Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo on each others' tails all race long and the result settled in almost the final corner, was the natural outcome of two equally-matched men on very different but equally-matched machines. There was nothing to choose between the two during qualifying at Brno, and there was nothing to choose between them during the race.

Motegi is shaping up to be similar. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa have very similar pace, and both have the consistency, the talent and the desire to push to the end. Jorge Lorenzo may have taken pole - the 50th of his career and one of his finest, with a blistering lap in near-perfect condition to destroy the existing pole record - but Pedrosa's race pace is fractionally faster than that of the polesitter. Where Lorenzo's near-robotic consistency has him lapping in the low 1'46.1s, Pedrosa is posting high 1'46.0s. The two men are separated by hundredths of a second only, and appear to have the measure of each other.

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2012 IRTA Moto2 & Moto3 Jerez Test Round Up - Ready To Go

The 2012 preseason is over for Moto2 and Moto3, as the support classes pack up their things after three days of testing at Jerez and get ready to ship out to Qatar. The teams leave the final test of the season with a much better idea of where they stand, as the playing field had been leveled in Moto2 by the use of the official Geo Tech engines, and in Moto3 by the arrival of the Geo Tech kits for the Honda engine, giving the NSF250R a much needed power boost with respect to the KTMs.

In Moto2, a clear group of contenders has established itself, consisting mainly of the men who have been fast just about all preseason. Claudio Corti was fastest, but the Italian was never outside the top 3, gaining a place every day of the test. Thomas Luthi was his constant companion, the Interwetten Paddock rider finishing ahead of the Italian on every day except the last, when Corti just sneaked ahead by four thousandths of a second. Luthi, Corti, Pons rider Pol Espargaro, and rather surprisingly, Marc VDS Racing's Mika Kallio were consistently at the top of the timesheets, and more importantly looked fast every time they were on the bike.

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