Front row start for on form Redding at Misano
Scott Redding secured his fourth front row start of the season at Misano, posting the third fastest time in this afternoon's qualifying, the first fully dry session of the weekend. Mika Kallio will start from ninth position and the third row of the grid, after encountering front-end problems on his final qualifying run.
The Moto2 protagonists got their first dry track time towards the end of this morning's session, after yesterday was disrupted by rain. Although dry, the track was in less than ideal conditions, but that didn't stop Kallio posting the second quickest time, with his Marc VDS teammate, Redding, just two further places back in fourth.
The sun finally made an appearance at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this afternoon, with the all-import 45-minute qualifying session held in almost perfect conditions. Redding was quick to show his form, moving up to second on the timesheet early on in the session, then continually improving his lap time to eventually finish third fastest.
Kallio has been fast all weekend, regardless of the conditions, and looked all set to join his Marc VDS teammate on the front row this afternoon. The 29-year-old Finn built up his pace throughout the 45-minute session, before heading out for one final run and a crack at the pole position time. Unfortunately for Kallio, as soon as he exited pit lane on his out lap, he encountered a problem with unusual vibration from the front-end of his Kalex Moto2 machine. Despite the issue the Marc VDS rider still managed to improve his lap time, to finish just 0.5s off pole, but was disappointed to be off the front two rows of the grid in ninth.
Marc VDS backed Rookie Cup rider, Livio Loi, took his third podium finish in as many races this afternoon at Misano. The 15-year-old Belgian led the way for most of the 17-lap race, before succumbing to a questionable move by Karel Hanika on the final lap that pushed him wide and dropped him to third at the chequered flag.
Scott Redding #45: 3rd – 1'38.339
“It's good to be starting on the front row again, especially here. The first part of the track is quite tight and twisty, so you don't want to be getting held up through the danger zones right at the start. It also means it's not such a run to the first turn and that should also help me a bit. The bike felt good, the pace was there and the track was a lot less slippery than I thought it was going to be, so we're in a pretty good position for the race tomorrow, despite the lack of dry track time this weekend. I can do the lap time, but I was quite on the edge with the front, so if we can make a few changes ahead of warm-up tomorrow to smooth things out then I'll be really happy.”
Mika Kallio #36: 9th – 1'38.794
“I don't know what the problem was on my last run, but there was definitely something not right with the front of the bike. It felt like there was a bulge in the tyre, which was causing a lot of vibration and causing the front to jump around. I still managed to set my fastest time, but without the problem I know I could have gone faster and the front row was a real possibility. But, there it is. We know we have the pace for the race, and I'm confident about tomorrow, but starting from the third row isn't ideal. We will see how the race unfolds, as there's definitely an opportunity to maybe save the tyres early in the race and then come strong towards the finish. Either way, I need to make a good start tomorrow and then take things from there.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It's been a difficult weekend here at Misano, with the weather having a big impact on all three free practice sessions. Qualifying this afternoon was the first time we've had decent track conditions all weekend, and both riders made the most of them. Scott did a great job to qualify on the front row. It's his fourth front row start of the season, but probably the most important, as the first part of the Misano track will be difficult if we have a typical Moto2 opening lap. We don't know yet what was wrong with Mika's bike, as we are still waiting to hear back from Dunlop about the tyre, but without the problem I'm confident we'd have had both riders on the front row. I'm also confident that Scott and Mika are capable of good results here, and the podium is a possibility for both. Livio rode another good race in the Rookies Cup today. He was quick to force his way through from sixth on the grid to take the lead and then pretty much controlled the race from the front. On the last lap he fell victim to quite a hard move from Hanika, which forced him to sit the bike up and dropped him back to third place at the chequered flag. A great result, but I know he's disappointed to have missed out on his second win.”