Hard fought fourth for Redding at Twin Ring Motegi
Scott Redding took a hard fought fourth place finish after a hectic battle in this afternoon's Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi. Mika Kallio suffered a disappointing end to what was a difficult weekend, finishing 17th after an off track excursion.
Redding got a good start from the second row of the grid and pushed his way through to take the race lead on the opening lap. Tito Rabat forced his way past Redding on the second lap, with his Pons teammate Pol Espargaro also finding a way past the British teenager five laps into the race.
From that point on Redding was involved in a ferocious battle with Toni Elias and Tom Lüthi, with Elias continually diving up the inside of the Marc VDS rider only to run wide on corner exit. Eventually the Spaniard pushed too hard and crashed out of the race, leaving Redding to hold off a hard charging Tom Lüthi to take fourth at the chequered flag.
Kallio got a flying start from the fifth row of the grid and then made up places in almost every corner to complete the opening lap in 7th position. The 29-year-old Finn was embroiled in a battle for a top five position until mid-race distance, when he missed a gear going into the hairpin and ran off track.
The Marc VDS rider rejoined the race in a distant 20th position, but managed to fight his way back to 17th before taking the chequered flag at the end of the 23-lap race.
The Marc VDS Racing Team now head directly to Kuala Lumpur for next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, the 15th round in this year's Moto2 World Championship.
Scott Redding #45: 4th Position
“It was a hard race today, especially with my wrist, which took a bit of a beating with the hard braking here at Motegi. I couldn't stay with Rabat and Espargaro when they went past me, as I was having a few problems getting my foot under the gear lever in the final sector and then the rear started spinning up. I thought I might be able to reel them back in, but then Elias started lunging up the inside at every turn and pushing us both wide on exit. It was inevitable that he was going to crash and then it was just a case of holding off Lüthi to the flag. It's another fourth place, which is good for the championship, but I want to be back on the podium again, and soon.”
Mika Kallio #36: 17th Position
“I got a good start from the fifth row and just forced my way past as many riders as I could and ended up seventh at the end of the opening lap. The race was going well and I was involved in a battle with Takaaki Nakagami and Tom Lüthi when I missed a gear going into the hairpin. I pulled in the clutch to engage second, but then the bike got out of shape and I had to let off the brake to regain control. Unfortunately I ran off track and rejoined down in 20th place. I managed to finish 17th in the end, but it's not the result I was looking for. It's been a difficult weekend, with the big crash yesterday and the mechanical problems, but now I need to put it behind me and look forward to next weekend's race in Malaysia.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was another good race by Scott today. He had some problems, but managed to maintain his pace and hold off the challenge of Elias and Lüthi to take fourth at a track that doesn't really suit his style. Mika got a great start and looked all set to challenge for a top five finish, but then lost out after missing a gear going into the hairpin. It's been a difficult weekend for him, but he showed once again that he's capable of running a good pace in the race and I'm confident he'll bounce back next weekend in Malaysia.”