The Red Bull Grand Prix at Laguna Seca is set to go this July 4th weekend, but already the race is two racers short, despite the fact that not a single GP bike has taken to the track yet. Two resident MotoGP rookies, Mika Kallio and Yuki Takahashi, will both miss the US GP, due to medical related issues.
Kallio had a heartbreaking crash on the last lap of the Dutch GP at Assen this past weekend as he was battling for 6th place. During the crash, Kallio’s ring finger was cut down to the bone, which means the Finn will lose the nail on that finger for good.
This would seem to go counter to earlier reports that half of the Finn’s finger had been completely lost in the accident. Fortunately though, Kallio’s nervous system in the finger has not been damaged, and he will regain use of the finger after a skin graft surgery. That operation is scheduled after the Sachsenring and Donington rounds, until then an artifical skin protector will be used to conceal the wound.
Since Kallio will only miss the U.S. GP, Pramac Racing has decided not to find a substitute for the Scandinavian rider, meaning Niccolò Canepa will make his American debut alone.
The other Seca dropout, Yuki Takahashi, is reportedly skipping the GP and the rest of the season in order to have back surgery that will require 3 months of healing. The timing of the announcement is a bit suspect though, as Team Scot is set to welcome aboard Gabor Talmacsi, and his sizable sponsorship money.
Team Scot has been struggling finanically, with reports indicating that the team did not have the resources to run two bikes properly in the MotoGP series, especially after the Brno round where tighter controls on engine longevity will come into place. Team Scot manager Cirano Mularoni was open about the problems faced by adding Talmacsi to the team:
“It was a difficult situation because contrary to what I had read, extra spares were not available for the RC212V, a situation which would have gotten worse after Brno, with the limit on the numbers of engines. Not to mention the problems we would have faced in a flag-to-flag race, where we would have been forced to change wheels instead of bikes.”
HRC has made it clear that they do not plan on supplying teams with any more bikes, especially given recent sales slumping. With this knowledge clearly available to them, it seems unlikely that Team Scot didn’t foresee this problem coming down the pipe when they signed on Talmacsi.
Source: MotoGP Matters