KTM test rider Mika Kallio has been ruled out of MotoGP’s German Grand Prix, after suffering ligament damage in his right knee in a crash during the second practice session.
The Finnish rider was making his third wildcard appearance of the 2018 season with KTM this weekend at the Sachsenring, having contested the Jerez and Barcelona races, tallying up a 10th-place finish in the former.
Kallio crashed heavily into the barriers early in the second practice session when he was forced into the gravel after losing “contact” with the rear under braking.
His RC16 hit him in the process, and he was taken to the medical centre for checks before being transferred to hospital, where further scans revealed he had damaged ligaments in his right knee.
As a result, he will sit out the remainder of the Sachsenring weekend, and could well miss KTM’s home race at the Red Bull Ring next month as surgery is needed on his knee.
“I was tipping into the corner on the front brake and the rear lost contact,” Kallio said. “I had to pick up the bike and I knew I was into the gravel.
“I saw I had quite a lot of speed and unfortunately I could not turn enough and the barriers came closer and closer.
“Everything happened in one or two seconds and I had to make a decision really quick. I tried to put it down and avoid the big impact but I flew into the wall.
“Somehow the bike hit me because we went into the fence together and maybe it caused the problem with the knee.
“Anyway, considering the speed, I think we had a lot of luck with that crash. It could have been much worse.
“I felt that something wasn’t right with the knee but at the same time a bit relieved.
“This is definitely not the way we wanted the weekend to go. I’ve had broken ligaments before but not quite as bad as it feels right now.
“To move it means a lot of pain. I initially hoped it might just be a big impact but when they made the MRI the doctor said I need surgery.
“We need to make a plan now and hopefully come back when everything is fine.
“Racing in Austria this season would have been a highlight for me and it is four weeks away. I cannot say what will happen but I hope there is some way I can be on the grid.”
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo topped Friday’s running in Germany with a 1m20.885 seconds lap, while Kallio’s KTM stablemates Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith were 12th and 14th respectively, and under a second off the pace.