PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, OCT 17 - Pramac Racing Ducati rider Mika Kallio was released from the final two races of his contract late on the Sunday night of the Australian Grand Prix in a move that was widely expected.The Finnish rider had been suffering increasing pain in the left shoulder he injured early in the season in France and his results have suffered. Since the injury, suffered in the third race of the year, he's had one top ten finish, a ninth in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Kallio finished his final ride with the team in 11th place.Spaniard Carlos Checa will almost certainly replace Kallio for the final two races. The Althea Racing Ducati World Superbike rider tested a Ducati Desmosedici test bike last week in Mugello. Afterwards, he wrote in a posting on his Twitter feed that it was decided that he would do the final two races, in Estoril, Portugal and Valencia, Spain."It is since Japan's race that the pain in my left shoulder, injured in Le Mans race, has become too intense," Kallio said. "I immediately talked to the team, who understood my situation and agreed that I would try to race in Malaysia and Australia and then decide to continue or not in the last two races. Unfortunately, despite the good race today, the pain didn't allowed me to perform in the best way. Together with the team, we decided to conclude our partnership today. It has been a hard choice for me, but in this way I'll be able to find the best physical condition and think about my future. I would like to thank Paolo Campinoti that was very helpful in managing this situation. I would like to also thank all the technical staff of the Pramac Racing Team with which I have found myself very well in this two year and I'll always remember them with great affection. "

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Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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