A difficult day in Valencia for Marc VDS
Mika Kallio was the best of the trio of Marc VDS riders in qualifying at Valencia today, finishing the 45-minute session 12th fastest, to secure a place on the fourth row of the grid for the final Moto2 race of the 2013 season.
While Kallio was able to lap consistently in the 1’35s bracket today, he wasn’t able to push for a faster qualifying time. The 31-year-old Finn was struggling on corner entry, where a lack of feedback from the front tyre sapped his confidence, forcing him to brake earlier and sacrifice mid-corner speed.
Scott Redding continued to struggle with the injuries sustained in Australia and Japan, eventually qualifying 17th for tomorrow’s Moto2 race after, once again, riding through the pain barrier this afternoon.
The 20-year-old Briton tried a number of changes on his Kalex Moto2 machine to try and compensate for his injuries, but finally had to accept that only grit and determination will get him through tomorrow’s 27-lap race, his final appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team.
Livio Loi will start the final Moto3 race of the 2013 season from the ninth row of the grid, after qualifying in 25th place this afternoon at Valencia.
The 16-year-old Belgian made a big step forward this morning, improving his lap time by 0.8s during the cooler conditions of the final free practice session, but the problems the Marc VDS rider experienced yesterday, with the bike refusing to turn into the corners, returned in qualifying. Loi pushed as hard as he could for a fast time, but he was unable to find a good, consistent rhythm during the 40-minute timed session.
Mika Kallio #36 // 12th // 1’35.737
“I’m not really sure where the problem lies, but it’s not normal to see almost no improvement in lap time from FP1 to qualifying. We tried quite a few different things on the bike, but nothing has made any difference. I just don’t have the confidence in the front on corner entry, which means I’m braking earlier and losing mid-corner speed. Also, I’m constantly on edge, because the front feels like it could tuck at any minute, which makes it difficult to relax and find a good rhythm. In the race I need to make up as many places as I can as soon as possible, so I need to be aggressive from the start.”
Scott Redding #45 // 17th // 1’36.065 // @Reddingpower
“With the injuries I just don’t have any power in my body, and that’s making it hard to ride the bike. The set-up of the bike feels pretty good, but it’s difficult to be sure when you’re a second off the pace. Our aim today in qualifying was top 12, which we didn’t manage, but it was important to get more laps under my belt this afternoon. I’m under no illusions as to how tough, and how painful, tomorrow’s 27-lap race is going to be. All I can do is try my best. If I can run to the finish then that’s great. If I can’t, then at least I gave it my best shot.”
Livio Loi #11 // 25th // 1’41.450 // @LivioLoi
“This morning’s session was better; the conditions were a little cooler than yesterday and I had a little more feedback from the front, which brought with it some of the confidence I was missing. Unfortunately, qualifying this afternoon was a different story. Again the feeling wasn’t really there with the front, maybe because the track temperature had gone up again, but the bike just didn’t want to turn into the corners. The harder I pushed for a lap time, the worse the problem got. Once again I will start from way back on the grid, which was not our target here at Valencia. I will need a good start and to be very aggressive in the opening laps if I’m to end the season with a points scoring finish, which is our goal.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Mika and Livio seem to have been struggling with almost the same problem today. Neither of them has confidence in the front on corner entry, which is losing them both time here at Valencia. We need to find a solution for the race, as Mika can finish top five here, even from 12th on the gird, while a points scoring finish is well within Livio’s capabilities. Scott had to ride through the pain barrier in every session this weekend. He is determined to race tomorrow, to defend his second position in the championship, but it is a tough ask given his injuries. He will give it his all, like he’s done every time he’s thrown a leg over our bike in the last four years, of that I have no doubt.”