Kallio makes his mark at final Jerez test

Kallio makes his mark at final Jerez test

Mika Kallio and Scott Redding will head for the opening race of 2012 in Qatar confident of making a positive start to the season, after a strong showing in the final three-day preseason test at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

Kallio ended the Jerez test fourth fastest on combined times, just 0.318s off the fastest lap set by fellow Kalex rider Claudio Corti. Redding was just 0.3s further back in seventh position, despite struggling with illness and technical issues during the three-day test.

Continuing his methodical approach to testing at Jerez, Kallio used the three days to improve further his feeling with the Kalex Moto2 machine, ahead of his final race simulation run this afternoon. The flying Finn posted his fastest time of the test on the fourth lap of the long run, with his average over the 23 laps just a few tenths off his fastest time.

Redding struggled with illness initially, but as his condition improved so did his lap times. The 19-year-old British rider eventually finished the test seventh fastest, but felt he would have gone quicker if he hadn’t experienced problems with the official race engine, which was fitted in his Kalex Moto2 machine ahead of day two.

Both Marc VDS riders now head to the opening race of the season in Qatar quietly confident, after a preseason test schedule in which they’ve featured regularly at the top end of the timesheet.

The Grand Prix of Qatar, the first of 17 Moto2 races on the 2012 calendar, takes place over the weekend of 7th and 8th April.

Mika Kallio #36: 4th – 1’42.301
“It’s been a good three days of testing here in Jerez. The plan was to get a little bit closer to the front and we achieved that today with fourth position and less than half a second off the fastest time, so I’m satisfied with that. During the race simulation the bike felt good for all 23 laps and my times were both fast and consistent, which means we go to Qatar in a good position. Conditions will be very different in Qatar, but the work we’ve done during testing means we’re pretty sure even now how we need to set-up the bike for the first race. Remaining calm is the key to the first race; we know we have the pace to challenge the front runners, so we just need to continue with the approach that’s worked so well for us during testing.”

Scott Redding #45: 7th – 1’42.638
“It’s been a difficult three days if I’m honest. I was feeling ill ahead of the test and, although I started feeling better on the first day, my head wasn’t completely in it. The second day was better, but we had a recurring problem with the bike jumping out of gear when I was backshifting for the corners and it wasn’t really until the afternoon that I felt properly comfortable on the bike. Unfortunately, this coincided with the arrival of the wind, which had me and Marc Marquez off late on in the session. Today we had the same problem with the engine but, thankfully, it will be changed for the first race. Overall our test schedule has been really positive, but now I just can’t wait to start racing.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
“Mika’s methodical approach to testing certainly paid off today, with his fastest lap of the test coming during his race simulation this afternoon. He will be quick in Qatar, a track that he has done well at in the past, and I’m confident he’ll get his second season in Moto2 off to a strong start. Scott struggled a little with illness and an engine problem during these three days at Jerez, but he proved during the previous tests this year that he has the pace to run at the front, so he will head to Qatar with his confidence intact. After such a long break I think we’re all looking forward to the first race, where I hope we’ll make a strong start to the season.”