Mika Kallio blamed his second MotoGP DNF on Nicky Hayden at the weekend, whereas the American says it was him who had the bad luck when Kallio slipped and touched him.
Following his good results in Qatar and Japan, followed up by his technical problems at Jerez, Mika Kallio’s learning process in MotoGP continued on Sunday when he crashed out at Le Mans.
Given the highly difficult wet-drying conditions it was perhaps surprising that more riders did not suffer the same fate, but Kallio and World Champion Valentino Rossi were the only premier class competitors to hit the deck in the French contest.
Kallio’s demise came about on lap 11 when he tried to overtake fellow Ducati rider Nicky Hayden for eighth place and then lost control as he hit a wet patch on the asphalt as he went round the American. The two Desmosedici GP9s made contact, though Hayden was able to continue riding despite some light damage to his machine, losing some ground and eventually coming home twelfth.
Pramac Racing rider Kallio reviewed the incident saying, “We were doing really well, I chose the right moment to change bikes and I was in a good position. I reached Hayden and I tried to overtake him on the inside. All of a sudden he changed line and I had to pass outside where there was a wet spot on the track and I slipped. He probably didn’t see me. I am very sad about it because I was feeling really good.”
Hayden’s view, meanwhile, was, “I got unlucky again when Kallio crashed and his bike slid into me. I was lucky to save it because the impact was hard – you can see the rubber on the side of my bike – and I ran off track. It cost me time and positions and also damaged the front wheel sensor. We have two sensors so the bike was still working, but probably it didn’t help things.”
However, Fabiano Sterlacchini, Pramac Racing’s Technical Director made a cheeky reference to Ducati Marlboro rider Hayden when he gave his thoughts on what had occurred, “Mika’s crash was due to a wet patch he hit while overtaking a much slower rider, who didn’t see that he was arriving. There is nothing we can do about it. We are convinced that our rider can always do well at each Grand Prix, we just need a bit of luck.”