Kallio comes in second in Australia as Bautista seals championship
Alvaro Bautista of Spain has wrapped up this year's 125cc World Championship in Road Racing by winning the GMC Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Aprilia rider Bautista's Sunday victory - his seventh this season - was enough to guarantee him the 2006 title.
Finland's Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM), started from pole position in the season's 13th race, but had to put in a considerable effort just to finish second.
"Naturally I feel disappointed as my race speed didn't match that of the qualifying session. In the Aprilia camp they managed to find super fast tunings for Bautista's bike. I cannot but congratulate the Spaniard for a job well done", Kallio said.
"When pushing our bike to the very limit, I may be able to squeeze to the pole position, as I did here. However, taking such risks in the actual race is impossible. I would never make it to the finish line."
Kallio admits that throughout the season his Red Bull KTM has not been able to match the speed of Bautista's Aprilia.
"Our goal was the win the championship. But I can be satisfied with my own riding. I've managed to avoid mistakes putting in a 100 per cent performance every single time", Kallio went on.
At Phillip Island, a first-lap pile-up resulted in a restart, nullifying the pole-sitter Kallio's excellent start.
Even the second time Kallio managed to hold on to the lead for a couple of laps. Once overtaken by Bautista, however, the Finn had to fight hard just to stay ahead of the trailing pack.
In the end Bautista took the chequered flag 3.242 seconds ahead of Kallio. Mattia Pasini of Italy, last year's champion Thomas Lüthi of Switzerland, and Kallio's teammate Julian Simon of Spain took the next three places in very close company, losing to the winner by 3.381, 3.639, and 3.838 seconds respectively.
With three races remaining, Bautista's record-breaking score is 280 points. Kallio has managed to collect 201 points, followed by Pasini with 172 points.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Kallio second at Le Mans despite wrong choice of tyres (22.5.2006)