Carlos Checa To Replace Kallio At Pramac For Estoril And Valencia

After a promising rookie year in MotoGP, Mika Kallio has struggled in 2010 on the Pramac Ducati. So mediocre has his form been the past six month, that Kallio has decided to call it quits early. According to reports in the Spanish media, Kallio will not be riding the last two races of the season for the Pramac Ducati squad, and his season will end after Sunday's race at Phillip Island.

Taking his place will be yet another Spaniard: After an outstanding year in the World Superbike championship aboard a Ducati 1198R, finishing 3rd behind Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam, and well ahead of the factory Xerox Ducatis of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, the 38-year-old veteran Carlos Checa is to replace Kallio at Estoril and Valencia. Checa last rode in MotoGP back in 2007, when he raced for the LCR Honda squad currently fielding Randy de Puniet, after which the Spaniard moved to World Superbikes.

The deal is not yet completed, however: Checa is expected to test the Ducati Desmosedici at Mugello later this week, something he asked for before making a final decision. If Checa feels he can get up to speed fast enough on the Pramac Ducati, he will go ahead and race in Portugal and Valencia. Checa is already contracted to race in World Superbikes with Althea Ducati again next season, and is not contemplating a return to MotoGP at any point in the future, especially given that he will be 40 by the time his contract with Althea expires, after the 2012 season.

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What is wrong with Kallio? I often read and hear that "off track" issues have been a big problem, but it's never mentioned what the problems are. It's deemed as "personal issues" frequently. What happened?

Awesome!! Too bad for Kallio, but Checa has been on top form this year. If he hadn't had two DNF's at Miller this year the championship might have looked different.

... funny, but the same thought occured to me when I first read this post!

Sad for Mika ... don't know what is going on with him and the ascribed 'personal' issues. But I do hope Checa does well in the testing and takes the ride! Will make for an interesting end of the season.

Considering the current situation of having no race-ready replacement riders that have experience on the 800's, how about Pramac give a potential future Moto GP rider a shot?

I understand Carlos has done a fantastic job this year, but if he is not going to race Moto GP again, then give the chance to somebody who might.

Throw in a young up-and-comer from a country that isn't currently represented, try to get some additional per race sponsorship (just like LCR was doing) and you might just have a win-win for everyone.....Dorna, rider, team, sponsors and just maybe a future Moto GP star.

Save for that many up and coming riders may damage their prospects with a really poor showing beyond their control.

But I think what really may be behind it is the Iberian influence of the rider selection as much as experience or Ducati allegiance.

I'm sure any up and comer given the chance would take it. Even if they came last they would be doing as good as Kallio, and chances are they'd also get a WC point or two.

All it takes is one shot at it and you may see some fresh brilliance!

Pramac may not want to risk an up-n-comer with no MotoGP experience trying desperately to make an impression ... and wadding their bike. They don't have factory-depth pockets.

When I made my post above, I hadn't thought about it this way. And I agree that, given Checa's contract and that he's not going to race in MotoGP going forward, it might make more sense to have an up-and-comer take the place to see how he does. Given the close battle to determine second through fifth and sixth through 10th in Moto2, I'm not sure who this would be ... but it's not impossible to think of riders that could have the chance to step up for the final two races. Intersting. If it turns out to be Checa, I wish him luck and hope he makes a great stand ala Baylis!

Regardless of reason, I hope he can figure out how get the best out of racing again. Maybe even a year off and a Moto2 come back could be interesting.

Well deserved promotion to a fantastic motorcycle man/racer.

I hope he smokes everybody - except Spies of course. Wouldn't that just stir the pot!

Because after just 2 victories in the 14 years of his previous GP career he's overdue. Yeah right.

I could understand this move if it was a young, up and coming rider or a rider who had just won a championship for Ducati but bringing back Checa makes no sense.

A racing series needs all kinds of racers. Carlos is a veteran racer thru and thru and it is nice to see how the "up and coming" riders can do against experienced racers.

Not to mention that these new racers need to prove themselves worthy of being in the big show. If they can't beat the veteran then they need to stay down, or move back down, in a lesser series. If they demonstrate they have good potiential they should be moved up. Carlos proved this year that he still has the talent and desire necessary to compete at the highest levels if given the machinery to do it.

Personally I love it when an "old" veteran smokes the rookies. It adds to the show for us old timers. We're not going to just roll over for the young guns - they will have to earn it on the track to put us in retirement.

Checa's been fast and has been able to keep it on two wheels. Seems the Chuck-it nickname doesn't really fit anymore(hope I didn't just jinx him) I love seeing the old guy still going fast, willing to bang bars!

Checa was a good soldier for Ducati and he was competitive in MotoGP. If I was Pramac, I'd think him a good choice for sponsors and Ducatisti alike. Create a little buzz and maybe finish a couple spots higher up.

I'd sure like to know what happened to Kallio, though. Seems a lot stranger than when Melandri quit on Ducati.

Very rare to hear anyone say a bad thing about Carlos.He looked Loris' equal on the 990,but always ended up like Toni Elias.Well,for sure,Carlos won't be on a factory Desmo next year,whether 2 cylinders or 4,but it will be great to see him wring the GP10 in the last two rounds and allow others,like me,to reflect on what may have been and just enjoy.Sort of Barros'esque.Never forgot him either.

Back in end 2005-after season, when Ducati wasnt yet but a backrunner ,Carlos spent many winter miles testing and developping for them.
As a result of that development, Capirossi(he admitted himself :Im not such a good test rider, but a racing one!)a leap of 1sec. faster.
However, it was Sete who signed for the next year, Im sure Checa felt then more than disappointed, but never moaned over it.
Perhaps what Pramac expects from Carlos is, again, that "Good Basic Setup" to close the gap with the marlboro team.
This could make more sense if VR ,finally, isnt allowed to winter test his new ride. In this case scenario Checa┬┤s work would continue during winter testing.