Grip proves an issue for Kallio and Redding at Aragon

Grip proves an issue for Kallio and Redding at Aragon

Mika Kallio ended the opening day at Aragon fourth on the timesheet with Scott Redding eighth, after both Marc VDS riders struggled for grip in this afternoon’s second free practice session.

Kallio was quick from the start of free practice this morning, ending the session third on the timesheet and just 0.157s off the provisional pole position time of Nico Terol.

As the track temperature rose and the grip levels dropped ahead of the second free practice, Kallio struggled to find the same feeling with the bike and was unable to improve on his lap time from this morning, slipping to fourth on combined times. It’s a problem that has plagued the 30-year-old Finn all season, with even major set-up changes making little difference, but Kallio and his crew will continue looking for a solution ahead of tomorrow’s all important qualifying.

Grip was also an issue for Redding today, both at the front and the rear of his Kalex Moto2 machine. A lack of feeling with the front lost the Moto2 championship leader time on corner entry, but it was the rear spinning up out of every turn and not driving the bike forward that had the biggest impact on his lap times, as well as overworking the rear tyre.

Redding and his crew made a number of changes to the set-up of the bike throughout free practice today, eventually finding a combination of tyre and suspension settings that allowed the 20-year-old Briton to improve by almost 0.5s right at the end of the second session.

Livio Loi struggled to find a good feeling with his Kalex-KTM Moto3 bike around the undulating 5.078km Aragon circuit this morning, ending the opening free practice session in 28th position. Reverting to a previous set-up on the bike made a marked improvement this afternoon and, with his confidence restored, the 16-year-old Belgian improved his lap time by more than a second to end the day 24th on combined times.

Mika Kallio #36 // 4th // 1’54.784
“This morning the bike felt good, I was enjoying riding and the lap times came easy, but this afternoon was a different story. The track temperature went up, the grip went down and, like we’ve seen already this season, we seem to struggle more than other riders in this situation without really knowing why. We tried to improve the bike during the session, making changes to the set-up for all three exits, as well as changing to the other tyre option, but it made little difference. We’ve been trying to fix this issue all year, so to think we’re going to suddenly find the solution isn’t realistic, although that won’t stop us trying. Our best chance for tomorrow is if the track temperature is a little cooler for qualifying.”

Scott Redding #45 // 8th // 1’55.028 // @Reddingpower
“Today was okay. The hand was fine, no real problems there, but I’m struggling a little bit with grip and feel because the track feels quite greasy. I think there are a few guys struggling with the same issues, but we need to think for ourselves and come up with the right solution. It got better at the end there; I just calmed myself down a little bit because I think I was trying too hard and it was better. We just need to try and find a few little things to improve rear traction tomorrow, that’s the priority.”

Livio Loi #11 // 24th // 2’02.122 // @LivioLoi
“This morning the feeling with the bike was not what it needed to be. Between the two sessions we went back to the set-up I had on the bike during testing here earlier in the season, and the feeling was immediately better. We need to make some additional changes for tomorrow to improve the feedback from the front tyre through turns 3, 10 and 16, which are all fast, but these will be only small adjustments. With the problems this morning our weekend only really started with FP2, so we have some catching up to do ahead of qualifying, but now I have the bike I want to ride and that’s a big step in the right direction.”