Factory Ducati boss Livio Suppo believes Finnish rider Mika Kallio could be one of the surprise packages of the 2009 MotoGP world championship.
The Pramac Racing rookie was in dazzling form at the recent Jerez test session in Spain, springing a major surprise when he clocked the seventh fastest overall time.
That saw the KTM rider beat a host of established MotoGP stars including Colin Edwards and James Toseland, and he was only 0.1s adrift of 2008 Rookie of the Year Jorge Lorenzo.
His early performances have already convinced Ducati’s hierarchy that he could have a big impact in 2009 when he partners fellow MotoGP novice Niccolo Canepa in Ducati’s satellite squad.
Suppo added: “He is a guy who has a very good approach. He is not trying to go fast just to be fast. He is trying to learn and understand the bike and the engineers and when he feels good the time arrives.
"The performance he showed in the 250 class was impressive. People seem to forget in 2007 he was a rookie in 250 and at times he was able to beat Jorge and Andrea (Dovizioso) who have shown in 2008 they are very strong in MotoGP. I think Mika can do a very good job for us.
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