Hard fought sixth for Redding at Mugello
Scott Redding took a hard fought sixth place in today's Italian Moto2 Grand Prix at Mugello to retain fifth position in the championship standings. Mika Kallio fought his way through the field from 22nd on the grid, eventually crossing the line in 11th position.
Redding, starting from seventh on the grid after a difficult qualifying session yesterday, got a good start that saw him latch onto the back of the leading group on the opening lap. Rather than go all out from the start to make up places the 19-year-old Briton opted instead to settle into a good rhythm before picking off his rivals one-by-one.
Progress through the field was steady, with the result that Redding was one of six riders all battling for the lead as the race entered the final stages. The Marc VDS rider pushed hard in the closing laps to try and break into the top five, eventually putting a pass on Marc Marquez for fifth place on the final lap, only to lose it again as the Spaniard used his weight advantage to drive past on the straight.
Kallio was also forced to battle his way through the field today, after a crash during yesterday's qualifying session saw him start today from the eighth row of the grid. The 29-year-old Finn made up eight places on the opening lap and, by half race distance, had moved his way into the top ten.
Kallio looked set to continue his upward progress until the return of the chatter that has affected so many of his races this season. The Marc VDS rider then struggled to maintain his previous pace, was forced to concede tenth place to Johann Zarco and did well to fight off challenges in the final laps to finish in 11th position.
Scott Redding #45: 6th Position
“The front tyre we used today takes a couple of laps before it starts working properly, so I wasn't pushing too hard from the start. Even then I had a couple of moments before I felt confident enough to really start pushing. Once the tyre came in I was able to make up places quite quickly, but I just didn't have the pace to close on the battle for the podium. Towards the end I managed to catch Marc Marquez, but it was difficult to pass him as I was losing so much on the straight. On the final lap I managed to squeeze through on him for fifth, but as soon as the track straightened out he just cruised past me without even needing to use the slipstream! I'm happy enough to score points here at Mugello, a track that has always been difficult for me, and now I'm looking forward to Indy, which is the complete opposite.”
Mika Kallio #36: 11th Position
“The bike felt good from the start and I was able to make up places quickly on the opening laps, eventually joining the leading group of riders. I was pretty confident I could work my way closer to the front, but then at half race distance I started to struggle with chatter once again. It's the same problem we've had in previous races and it's starting to get annoying now. We've tried many different set-ups to eliminate the problem, none of which have worked. Now we need to look at the engine and the clutch for the cause, because we have to sort this issue out. Today the chatter meant my lap times dropped off because I just couldn't push. I'm disappointed to finish outside the top ten for the first time this season, especially when I could have been top five without the chatter issue.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It's been a difficult weekend for Scott, but today he rode an intelligent race to finish sixth and consolidate fifth position in the championship standings. The temptation was for him to go all out from the start, leaving himself with grip issues later on in the race, but instead he stayed cool and picked off places as the race progressed. Again he was losing ground accelerating out of the turns; otherwise I think he could have mounted a stronger challenge on Smith and Marquez. Mika could have been in the top ten once again today, but for the chatter that has plagued him this season. We need to look more closely at the engine and clutch, as these could well be the cause of the problem. Whatever the cause, we need to find a solution, as Mika is more than capable of finishing inside the top five every weekend without this problem.”