Front row for Mika Kallio at the Sachsenring
Sachsenring, Germany – 7 July 2012: Mika Kallio will start tomorrow’s German Moto2 Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, after securing third position on the timesheet with his final lap in this afternoon’s qualifying session at the Sachsenring. Scott Redding will start tomorrow from the ninth row of the grid, having struggled to find a workable set-up during practice and qualifying.
Kallio has been strong from the start this weekend, at a track he counts as one of his favourites. The 29-year-old Finn made steady progress throughout the three practice sessions at Sachsenring, working with his crew to refine the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine for the changeable conditions that proved problematical for many riders this weekend.
The Marc VDS rider was quick to make his mark in qualifying, which was held in wet but drying conditions, and was comfortably inside the top five on the timesheet on a used rear tyre. Kallio switched to a new rear tyre to try and improve his lap time, but reverted to the used tyre after just two laps as it offered a better feeling and more grip. Despite a drying track, which caused the left hand side of the rear tyre to overheat, the Finn set his fastest time on his very last lap to secure third place on the grid and his first front row start of the season.
Redding arrived at the Sachsenring confident of continuing the run of form that has seen him finish on the podium three times in the last four races. Unfortunately for the 19-year-old Briton the changeable weather conditions during free practice meant he never found a set-up with which he was comfortable. The problem was most apparent during this afternoon’s qualifying session, with Redding missing the confidence needed to push for a fast lap time.
The Marc VDS rider eventually finished the 45-minute timed session 26th fastest, but is determined to find a solution to his problems overnight and to finish tomorrow’s race in a points scoring position.
Mika Kallio #36: 3rd – 1’34.639
“I’m happy to be on the front row, especially here at Sachsenring with such a tight first turn, but also a little disappointed to miss out on pole by such a narrow margin. In qualifying I started on a used tyre and straight away I was inside the top five on the timesheet. We switched to a new rear tyre looking for a faster lap, but it just didn’t feel right; the rear was sliding around a lot more than I was expecting. I switched back to the used tyre and that’s what I set my fastest lap on. It was a bit risky right at the end because a dry line had started to appear in places and the left side of the tyre was overheating so much it was like riding on slicks in the wet! I’m pretty confident for the race, as we’ve got a good set-up whatever the weather decides to do tomorrow, now I just need a good start.”
Scott Redding #45: 26th – 1’37.588
“So far the weekend has been a bit of a disaster. We struggled to find a good set-up in the dry on Friday, and then we had exactly the same problem in the wet today. It meant I went into qualifying lacking confidence in the front end, which isn’t ideal in the conditions we had this afternoon. I still tried to push as hard as I could, but the rear was coming round on me all the time, forcing me to back off. The worst thing is that the problems seem to be on the faster sections of the track where normally we’d be strong. We will sit down tonight and come up with a solution, because I need to be in the points tomorrow to keep my championship on track.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Mika did a great job in very difficult conditions today. He set his fastest time on a drying track with a rear tyre that was almost completely destroyed, which just shows how confident he is around this circuit in all conditions. With such a tight first turn, and a short run up from the start line, starting from the front of the grid at Sachsenring is a bigger advantage than at many other tracks. I’m confident we will see Mika fighting for this first podium finish of the season tomorrow. Scott has had a tough weekend so far. He’s struggled to find a set-up he’s comfortable with and the changeable conditions meant he ran out of time ahead of qualifying. I’m sure we can find at least some improvement tonight, and I know Scott will be pushing to salvage as many points as possible in the race tomorrow.”