Front row at the Sachsenring for Kallio and Rabat
Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany – 12 July 2014: Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat will start tomorrow’s German Moto2 Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, after qualifying second and third respectively at the Sachsenring this afternoon.
It was Kallio who made the early running, posting the fastest lap halfway through the 45-minute qualifying session and then improving on it with almost every lap after. The 31-year-old Finn looked all set to claim his second pole position of the season but was narrowly ousted from the top of the timesheet by Dominque Aegerter right at the end of qualifying.
After finishing this morning’s final free practice session only sixth fastest, Rabat made changes to his Kalex Moto2 machine head of qualifying. The changes paid off, with the 25-year-old Spaniard quicker through the two sectors where he was losing most of his time this morning.
A front row start is critical at the Sachsenring, where chaos is almost guaranteed as the riders head down into turn one for the first time.
Livio Loi will start tomorrow’s German Moto3 Grand Prix from the tenth row of the grid, after qualifying in 29th position this afternoon. The 17-year-old Belgian is feeling more confident than yesterday, after finding a better set up on his KTM during this afternoon’s qualifying session.
Mika Kallio // 2nd // 1’24.885
“There are no points for qualifying, so second is good enough because it puts me on the front row and that is incredibly important here at the Sachsenring. The first corner and the first part of the track are really tricky, so you need to make a good start if you’re going to stay out of trouble. So far this season my starts have been good, so I’m confident I can get away with the leading group tomorrow. Okay, I am a little disappointed to miss out on pole position, especially as the margin was so small, but it’s like this and now we need to focus on the race tomorrow.”
Tito Rabat // 3rd // 1’25.032
“I’m happy to qualify on the front row of the grid as we’ve had quite a few problems this weekend, especially in sector two and sector four. We made some changes to the bike ahead of qualifying that allowed me to push harder and I’m happy to say I was able to improve my lap time. It’s important to start from the front row here, as everything is very close and its better to arrive at turn one at the front of the field, rather than in the middle of it. Tomorrow I need to make a good start if I am to fight for the win.”
Livio Loi // 29th // 1’29.099
“We made a change to the bike ahead of qualifying but it was obvious from the first few laps that we’d gone in the wrong direction. I came into the pits and we made another fairly big change and, immediately, the feeling was much better. I did my best time of the weekend on my first flying lap and I was confident there was more to come. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to improve as, almost as soon as I’d done my first lap, the rain arrived. Tomorrow we need to try and make a few more improvements in warm up. In the race I’m just going to have to get my head down and go for it.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Again, a great job by both Mika and Tito in qualifying, although Mika was unlucky to lose out on pole right at the end, to what was an impressive lap from Dominique Aegerter. Our eighth pole position of the season would have been nice, but far more important is that both riders will start from the front row of the grid. Turn one at Sachsenring is notorious for first lap incidents, so it’s critical to be at the front from the start. Livio and his crew kept working to find a better set up and, in qualifying, it looked like they succeeded. Unfortunately the onset of rain during the session meant he was unable to qualify any higher, but at least he will go into tomorrow’s race with some of his confidence restored.”