|Kevin Calia in action last season
Kevin Calia is a name worth noting for the future. The 18 year old Italian, who had two wildcard rides in the Moto3 class in 2012, is making the step from the small class up to the Italian Superbike Championship for this season.
A reward of a one off ride for Aspar in the final round of the highly competitive CEV Spanish Championship followed him winning the Italian Moto3 title. Many believed that Kevin had done enough to secure a ride in the Moto3 World Championship, however, for reasons beyond his control, Kevin was left out in the cold until Ducati and Barni Racing snapped up the great Italian prospect for 2013.
Kevin was born in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna on 9th September 1994. His name is a tribute by his parents to the 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz and runs the number 74 on his bike in honour of the late Japanese 250cc World Champion Daijiro Kato.
Kevin started with minibikes in 1999 when he was just 5 years old, his first win coming in 2003 and in 2004 he won the hard fought European Minibikes Championship and the Italian Minibikes Championship too. He won the Italian Championship again in 2005 against another strong rider Franco Morbidelli, repeating the feat once again in 2006.
In 2007 Kevin competed in the Metrakit Championship in Spain on a 125cc with good results then in 2008, 2009 and 2010 he raced, with more success, in the Red Bull Rookies MotoGP support series before switching to the Italian CIV 125cc in 2011 and CIV Moto 3 in 2012 where, after a great run of results, he secured the highly competitive Italian Moto3 Championship.
So Kevin, a very exciting 2013 ahead how did the deal with Ducati and Barni Racing come about?
I got an agreement with the Team Barni thanks to a contact made around January and then the possibilities transformed into an agreement this year that will allow me to ride his Ducati 1199R Panigale Superbike in the CIV Championship.
Is there any opportunity of a wildcard in the FIM Superstock Cup?
Wildcard in the WSTK 1000 are not excluded but are not part of the contract either. It all depends on how I’m going in the CIV at the time and if I’m fast then maybe I can discuss with the team manager of this possibility
Were you disappointed not to get a Moto3 ride especially after an impressive ride for Aspar?
No, honestly we all knew that running with Aspar would have been difficult…no budget, no race!
How did it feel to win the CIV Moto3 last year?
Winning the CIV Moto3 was a great satisfaction, a compelling story that one day my children will hear about many times! The past season has been full of fun and excitement and obviously I was very pleased with the results!
What do you hope to achieve in 2013?
I do not know! First of all I am very happy that my approach on the Ducati SBK and the feeling was immediately good. I was able to be fast and work well with the team right away. The sensations were immediately very positive and now grow throughout the season. The season starts on April 7 at Mugello, that will give us an understanding of where we really are!
Being a former Red Bull Rookie do you believe this Championship is a great springboard or not?
The Red Bull Rookies it’s a great championship, but unfortunately I did not bring anything worthwhile for them it seems. A good experience yes for sure, but I have since been abandoned by the project despite the fact that I have achieved a victory and several good placings in 2011.
Italy seems to have a bit of a production line of young talent emerging now after a scarce few years, why do you believe this is?
I think that in Italy there are talents and always has been. The problem is that there is no help to bring these promising young people into the world championship. Fenati and Antonelli are exceptions because they are two riders that are very very fast, but they can count on major budget too! To race in the world championship you have to have a big budget. Unfortunately.
Who in your mind can potentially succeed you as CIV moto3 champion in 2013?
In the CIV 2013 drivers are almost all new, there are no names “known” …. the Moto3 is a strange category sometimes, you don’t know how it will end! I’m curious to see only the timing of these riders who have motorcycles such as FTR, KTM, and the same MAHINDRA, last year there were only Honda as pretty much standard!
One final Question are you a fan of British Superbikes and would you ever be interested in racing in our championship?
BSB it’s a championship with good level! There are many riders of WSBK level and certainly beautiful racing! In the future I’ll see how it goes on my experience on SBK
PaddockChatter would like to thank Andy George for allowing us to post his Q&A with Kevin and we wish the young Italian all the very best for his first season on a Superbike.