Kallio takes his turn
Mika Kallio celebrated the return of the championship to European soil in style: the Finnish rider for the Marc VDS team scored his first win of the season in Jerez.
Since the opening of the World Championship in Qatar, Michael Bartholemy’s team has always placed one of its riders on the podium in the Moto2 class. In Spain, it was Mika Kallio’s turn to beat Dominique Aegerter and Jonas Folger. The Finn scored his first win of the season, the second of his career in Moto2. Meanwhile Tito Rabat, after falling during the practice test sessions and being rushed at the first corner of the race, had to settle for fourth place and, for the first time this season, didn’t make it to the podium.
In MotoGP, Stefan Bradl suffered from cramps in his forearms, and Lucio Cecchinello’s star rider could do nothing to stop Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro from leading him over the finish line. The LCR Honda rider finished tenth, more than thirty seconds behind the winner. In the Moto3 class, Livio Loi and Arthur Sissis were unlucky to say the least. The first fell six laps from the finish, while the second had to abandon early in the race due to technical problems. Miguel Oliveira ranked fourteenth.
With his won in Andalucía, Mika Kallio has consolidated his second place in the overall classification of the Moto2 championship and is now only sixteen points from his teammate Tito Rabat. Despite the tough race in Jerez, Stefan Bradl keeps his sixth place in the MotoGP class, equal on points with Aleix Espargaro and only one length from Jorge Lorenzo. In Moto3, Livio Loi and Miguel Oliveira respectively hold the eleventh and twelfth positions.
The news fell on the evening before the first day of free practice sessions for the Grand Prix of Spain. In 2016, Bridgestone will no longer be the official supplier for the MotoGP championship. “We have decided not to renew our contract with Dorna Sports,” explained officials of the Japanese tyre manufacturer. “We have achieved all of our goals since our arrival in this competition, and we now wish to re-focus our strategy for the future.” After arriving in MotoGP in 2002, Bridgestone became the official supplier of the championship in 2009 after Michelin decided to withdraw from the Grand Prix. If a page is about to turn, the promoter of the championship has no intention of reverting to a multi-brand competition. “It would be too expensive,” says Lucio Cecchinello, the boss of the Honda LCR team. “If the competition was opened again, Bridgestone would recover the three official teams and the others would have to deal with new manufacturers, who obviously cannot be up to scratch,” said Hervé Poncharal, President of the International Road-Racing Teams Association (IRTA), which represents the Grand Prix teams. Whatever happens, it will be a daunting challenge for the next tyre manufacturer in the MotoGP Championship. Producing efficient, reliable tyres for different riders and motorcycles is far from being an easy task.