KTM’s pre-season MotoGP programme has been disrupted by news that test rider Mika Kallio has suffered a double break to his left leg while ice racing at home in his native Finland.
Despite the addition of former factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa to KTM’s test team in 2019, Kallio still retains his job as the man responsible for taking on the lion’s share of development work for the brand.
He was set to head to Qatar shortly as the first pre-season test takes place at the Losail circuit next weekend.
Kallio confirmed the break on Instagram, posting video footage of the relatively innocuous incident that caused the injury, as well as adding x-rays showing breaks to both the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg.
Extra work for KTM and Dani Pedrosa at the upcoming tests, after a bit of a wobble for Mika Kallio while having fun at an ice race in Finland. Broken tibia and fibula, no riding for eight weeks 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/gzZqUVs64L
— Simon Patterson (@denkmit) February 27, 2021
“Tibia and fibula surgery awaits,” he wrote in the post.
“Unfortunately sometimes a small stupid mistake has painful consequences.
“Not what I had in my mind for today’s ice road race.
“Will be forced off bikes for seven to eight weeks to recover.
“Apologies to those concerned. This is the darker side of racing, even as a hobby.”
The missed track time comes at a key moment for KTM as it prepares for its first season without concession status, meaning that its testing time has been severely reduced for 2021.
With its race riders banned from private testing for the first time thanks to KTM’s three victories last year, Kallio and Pedrosa have become even more important.
They have already been on track this year at Jerez, joining the likes of Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro and Lorenzo Savadori last week.