Kallio and Rabat lead the way at the Sachsenring

Kallio and Rabat lead the way at the Sachsenring

Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany – 11 July 2014: Mika Kallio topped the timesheet after the first two free practice sessions ahead of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, with his Marc VDS teammate, Tito Rabat, just 0.074s back in second place.

The Sachsenring is demanding on tyres, especially the left hand side of the rear and Kallio arrived in Germany concerned that the rear tyre allocation for this race – hard and hard plus – would affect him more than his rivals, as it did in the races at Mugello and Catalunya.

While rear grip was lacking, it was the same for all the riders and Kallio’s fastest time of the day actually came on the harder of the two allocated tyre options, which bodes well for the race.

Rabat declared himself happy overall with second place today, but will focus on sector two tonight, as this is where he was losing most time to his teammate this afternoon.

It was another tough day for Livio Loi at the Sachsenring. The 17-year-old Belgian finishing 33rd on combined times, after struggling to find a workable set up on his KTM Moto3 machine. Loi improved his lap time in this afternoon’s 40-minute session, but is still missing two seconds compared to the riders in the lower half of the top ten.

Mika Kallio // 1st // 1’25.333
“I’m happy to be quickest today, especially as we were a little concerned we were going to suffer the same issues we’d had previously with the harder rear tyres. We were right about the grip, as there wasn’t that much, but this time it wasn’t just me who struggled with it, it was the same for everyone. We started with the same set up we ran at Assen and, other than a couple of small changes, it’s worked well. It means our base setting is good, which is something we’ve been chasing since the start of the season. This morning we ran the hard rear and this afternoon we tried the hard plus, the harder of the two available options, with positive results. The rear grip was better everywhere on the harder tyre and it was on this that I set my fastest lap.”

Tito Rabat // 2nd // 1’25.407
“For the first day here at the Sachsenring the lap time and position on the timesheet is not so bad, especially as I’ve never had a good first day at this track before. Of course we still need to improve, especially in sector two, but this is something I’ll sit down with the team to discuss tonight. Like always, grip is not so easy to find here, but it’s the same for everyone.”

Livio Loi // 33rd // 1’30.170
“When I’m on the bike it feels like I’m on the limit, but the lap time says otherwise. There is a lot of movement from the bike, on the brakes, on the throttle, basically everywhere, whatever I do. We have some work to do, because it’s not just one thing we need to fix, there are many things that aren’t working right now. Tonight I will sit down with the team and go through the data from both sessions and, hopefully, we can find something for tomorrow.”