Expectations high as Marc VDS head for Jerez
The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio and Scott Redding head for the third round of the 2013 Moto2 World Championship at Jerez this weekend with some confidence, after an impressive performance from both last time out in Texas.
Kallio secured his 36th Grand Prix podium with a hard fought third place finish at the Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago, which saw him leave America tied for second place in the championship standings. The 30-year-old Finn is keen to repeat that success this weekend in Jerez, a track at which he has previously been successful on both 125cc and 250cc machinery.
Redding started from pole position for the first time in his Grand Prix career in Texas, but tyre issues in the race thwarted his bid for a second successive podium finish. The 20-year-old Briton rode intelligently to fifth place and the points lead in the Moto2 World Championship standings, a lead he is keen to extend this weekend with a strong showing in Jerez.
Livio Loi will make his World Championship debut in the Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez this weekend, after celebrating his 16th birthday just two days ago. The Belgian has already won in France this season and heads to Jerez off the back of two top ten finishes in difficult conditions at the opening round of the Spanish Moto3 Championship, which took place at Circuit de Catalunya last weekend.
Situated in southwest Spain on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, the Jerez circuit has a complex layout, offering riders a real challenge. It boasts 13 turns over its 4.42km distance, with a combination of slow technical corners and fast sweeping turns making stability under braking and a good feeling from the front tyre critical when it comes to bike set-up.
Mika Kallio #36:
“The first few races are the most important, with good results helping to build confidence. Now we’re two races into the season and I’ve been top five in both, so my confidence is high going into Jerez, which is a track that suits my riding style better than Austin. In Texas we managed to sort out the few problems we had ahead of the race and the podium finish showed that I had the pace. For this reason I believe we can fight for a podium again this weekend. That’s the goal, anyway.”
Scott Redding #45:
“Jerez promises to be a tough weekend, one of the toughest of the season. A lot of riders are fast at this track and the Spanish riders in particular are always keen to do well at home. After just two races the championship is just names on a piece of paper, but at least it shows we’ve started strongly and that we can be in the hunt for the title. If I’m in with a shout of winning races then I’ll go for it, but this year it’s not about winning every race, it’s more about scoring points every weekend. That’s what we did in Texas and that’s how we’ll continue. If I can come away from Jerez still leading the championship then I’ll be satisfied.”
Livio Loi #11:
“It’s been a long wait but, finally, I get to make my Grand Prix debut this weekend in Jerez and I’m really looking forward to it. I was quick in the wet during preseason testing at the circuit, but we had a few issues with set-up in the dry. This is something we addressed last week while we were at Catalunya and I’m confident that we’ve made a significant improvement in this area now. My main aim this weekend in Jerez is to continue the learning process but, if all goes well, then I think a top 20 finish is a realistic goal.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We head to Jerez on a bit of a high after the success of Texas. We are leading the championship, but the pressure will be on the likes of Nico Terol and Pol Espargaro this weekend. It’s their home Grand Prix and I’m sure they’ll be keen to put on a show for their fans. For us it’s just another race; a race that we’ll approach in the same was as we did Qatar and Texas, hopefully with the same result. It’s a big weekend for Livio, as he’ll finally make his Grand Prix debut for the team at Jerez. He’s keen to make his mark straight away, but we need to be realistic with our expectations. He’ll be racing at the very top level for the first time, against riders who’ve already had two races in which to get up to speed, so I’ll be happy if he comes away with a top twenty finish this weekend.”