Soomer and Takala look ahead to the 2021 WorldSSP campaign

Friday, 5 March 2021 09:00 GMT

Kallio Racing will field Estonian Hannes Soomer and Finnish rider Vertti Takala in the upcoming WorldSSP season

The Kallio Racing outfit will field one new rider while keeping some continuity for the 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship as Vertti Takala joins the Finland-based team alongside Hannes Soomer. Having taken podium finishes throughout 2020, the team will be hoping the new rider line-up will be able to push the team even further up the grid and mount a title challenge in what is sure to be a thrilling season.

23-year-old Soomer claimed three podiums in 2020 which came in three consecutive races despite starting in the middle of the pack. Having qualified 16th in a wet Magny-Cours, he fought his way through the field twice to secure third place in treacherous conditions while he continued his form into the season-ending Estoril Round to take another third place, this time from 13th on the grid. His three podiums helped him into a career-best ninth in the Riders’ Championship and he will be hoping to build on this in 2021.

Soomer said: “I am happy to continue for another year with Kallio Racing. We can take the experience of last year and use it to fight for more podiums, wins and a top place in the championship this year. Working with people I know well and value, makes me very excited and confident for the new season. It is a strange time in the world right now, but I am staying healthy, fit and ready to start racing when the season starts.”

Takala is about to embark on his rookie WorldSSP campaign following a successful stint with Kallio Racing’s junior outfit competing in the national Spanish championship. The Finn secured one podium in 2020 as he finished eight in the national championship, his second year of competing in Spain. Having started his career on the ice in Finland, he switched to asphalt in 2017 and continued his success as he won the Finnish superstock title in 2018.

The 26-year-old said: “I am excited about next season! The WorldSSP class is a very high level and next season is going to be learning for me. However, I think that we have a chance to achieve good positions. The team is very professional, and the bikes are top notch, so things won’t get caught up in that. It's great to be able to ride on new tracks and work with the team.”

Vasa Kallio, the Team Manager at Kallio Racing, said: “It was extremely important after the challenging last season that the collaboration with Hannes continued. The results improved constantly during the season and especially the end-of-season podiums gave us the impression that we are doing things right. Now we are aware of the things we need to focus on particularly in order to be able to fight at the forefront throughout the season. And of course, this must be our goal.

“Of course, this is a big leap for Vertti, but based on last year’s results, now is the right time to move on into the World Supersport class. It’s important that in the initial tests of the season he gets a good feeling of the bike and that he can start the season without any additional pressure. Vertti also developed his riding upwardly throughout the last season and, of course, it is good to continue working with the same team of mechanics. An interesting season coming overall! According to the entry list, this season is going to be really tough, and we set out with great interest to challenge the other riders.”

You can follow all the action from WorldSSP in 2021 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!