Double joy for Marc VDS Racing Team in Texas
The Marc VDS Racing Team had double reason to celebrate at the end of the inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas today, with Mika Kallio storming to a brilliant third place and Scott Redding seizing the Moto2 World Championship points lead with a hard earned fifth.
A lightning start from ninth on the grid and a super aggressive first two laps immediately thrust Kallio into podium contention where he remained to the chequered flag after a pulsating fight with Dominique Aegerter and Esteve Rabat.
Using all his experience to try and protect second position at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), he was fortunate not to crash on the final lap when Aegerter clipped the back of his Kalex machine. Kallio expertly kept control of his bike and he missed out on securing second place by just 0.050s.
His third Moto2 podium though moved him into a three-way tie for second position in the overall World Championship rankings.
Starting from pole position for the first time in his 86-race World Championship career, Redding went straight into full attack mode to try and put clear air between him and the pursuing pack.
But rapidly deteriorating front and rear grip, which Redding had expressed concerns about in advance of the 19-lap clash, meant he was unable to sustain his blistering early pace.
Rather than take unnecessary risks to force his way back into the podium hunt, Redding rode the remainder of the race with precious World Championship points in mind after Pol Espargaro’s unfortunate early crash.
The 11-points secured for a battling fifth position gives Redding a four-point cushion at the top of the World Championship standings heading to the start of the European phase of the 2013 World Championship in Jerez next month.
Mika Kallio #36: 3rd
“I am really happy to be on the podium because it backs up a solid top five in the first race and now I am in a very good position in the championship. It was a very difficult race because I knew Aegerter and Rabat would be coming to attack on the last lap and I knew we’d have a moment. I got clipped from behind but fortunately I stayed on the bike to get a podium. I’m a little disappointed because a small mistake at the last corner cost me second, but I’m still very satisfied. I didn’t have the best top speed or the best front grip, but I could see that I could fight for the podium from the beginning. It has been a great weekend for the Marc VDS Racing Team and this result gives us a lot of confidence heading to Jerez.”
Scott Redding #45: 5th
“I’m obviously disappointed not to be on the podium after starting from pole position but I salvaged fifth position out of a difficult race and now I am leading the championship and that’s a great feeling. Before the race I knew we’d struggle with the tyres going off and that’s exactly what happened. I went out there to win but after six laps I knew it was impossible. I guessed that Espargaro and Nakagami were out so I just used my brain and didn’t push too hard to risk a crash that would have been very costly. It was a decent fifth and now I am leading the championship I need to hold it together for the rest of the year after a great start to the season.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We certainly won’t be forgetting our first trip to COTA in a hurry. Scott scored an amazing debut pole position and today he leaves leading the World Championship after a very mature ride. And Mika got a podium, which was a great way to end the weekend. Mika got a great start and was very aggressive in the first two laps to give himself a great chance of the podium. He then rode really fast while trying to conserve his tyres to stay in the podium places right to the end. He’s now finished in the top five in both races and that is great for his confidence. After Scott’s pole position we’d hoped he’d at least be on the podium. His strategy was to make a break and manage the gap at the front, but we knew he’d have some issues with tyre wear. He still did a brilliant job and he used his head to score some really important points. I’m really happy for the Marc VDS Racing Team and in particular Marc, who has given incredible support to this project. We are leading the World Championship for the first time and hopefully we can remain there.”