QMMF Racing Team riders Mika Kallio and Julian Simon finished the wet Grand Prix of Japan in 15th and 16th position. On the opening laps, Kallio made a quick recovery from 20th on the grid to 12th place and had a group battling for the top ten positions in striking distance, but then lost ground again due to a sudden drop in front tyre grip. Team-mate Simon started even better and held eighth position after one lap, but wasn’t able to keep this pace due to increasing pain in his foot following his practice crash on Saturday. Nevertheless, the Spaniard grit his teeth and rode on heroically until the chequered flag came down.
Mika Kallio – 15th place
“We had a big issue with the front tyre. In the beginning we were quite okay, I gained a few places in the first laps and I arrived at the group that was fighting for the top ten positions. At this stage, everything felt more or less okay. The bike was better than in the dry, we found a good rain set-up and the bike was easier to ride and more competitive. But after five laps, we suddenly lost front tyre grip. The drop came just between lap five and six and my lap time was immediately two seconds slower. After that, there was nothing I could do except trying to stay on the bike and to finish the race. It was really strange, but I heard that many other riders also had problems with the tyres. If we could have continued with the progress that we made in the first laps, we could have been in the top ten for sure!”
Julian Simon – 16th place
“It was a difficult weekend. I have a lot of pain in my foot after yesterday’s crash. My start was really good, but after three laps it was impossible to keep fighting for a top position, mainly because of the pain, but also because of the feeling with the bike. I struggled with grip, especially in the rear, and after the race the tyre was completely finished. I am sorry for the team and the sponsor and I hope we can do better at the next race in Australia. I was happy on the first two laps because I recovered many places from my starting position, but then it got increasingly difficult. Now the most important thing is to give my foot a little bit of rest so I am in better shape in Australia!”