Front row for Kallio in Qatar
Mika Kallio will start tomorrow’s Moto2 Grand Prix of Qatar from the front row of the grid, after a superb qualifying performance saw the 30-year-old Finn snatch third place with his final flying lap.
Scott Redding will head up the second row of the grid in fourth, after being demoted from the front row by pole sitter Pol Espargaro in the final seconds of qualifying.
With just 0.04s separating the Marc VDS teammates and the top 13 riders all within one second of each other in qualifying, tomorrow’s 20 lap Moto2 race, which gets underway at 19H20 CET, promises to be yet another thriller.
Mika Kallio #36: 3rd – 2'01.041
“We decided to go with two longer runs in qualifying and it was a plan that worked well today. The softer option rear we started with had good grip, allowing me to build confidence on a track that was much improved compared to yesterday. When we switched to the harder rear the grip was even better and I knew I could push for the front row. I managed to catch a slipstream down the start finish straight and that set me up nicely for my flying lap. I’m feeling confident, but it’s difficult to plan for the race now. Starting from the front row is a definite advantage, so we’ll see how things work out tomorrow I guess.”
Scott Redding #45: 4th – 2'01.089
“Obviously I’d have preferred to be on the front row, but I’m happy enough to be fourth and just 0.2s off pole for the first race. The bike felt good from the start and I was able to do the lap times quite comfortably. The only issue was chatter in some corners, which I think was coming from the clutch. It wasn’t a lot, but it unsettled the bike enough to make pushing for a faster lap a little bit too risky. I was consistent throughout qualifying, with my lap times within a few tenths each time, and that will be critical for tomorrow’s race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I said yesterday that I expected both riders to push for a front row start today and they didn’t disappoint. Mika did a fantastic job of building pace throughout qualifying to steal third right at the end, while Scott was unlucky to be pushed off the front row by Pol Espargaro after topping the timesheet for most of the session. Both riders showed tonight that they have the speed and the confidence to be up at the front and battling for a podium finish in the race tomorrow, which is exactly the start we need to the new season.”