Kallio masters tricky conditions at Valencia to finish seventh
Mika Kallio stormed his way through the field to take a hard fought seventh place, after starting today's Moto2 Grand Prix of Valencia from the sixth row of the grid. Scott Redding was disappointed to finish outside the points in the final race of the season, but a lack of mid-corner grip meant he was unable to fight back after a first lap collision.
Rain during the morning, followed by sporadic showers throughout the day, meant that the Moto2 race started in wet conditions, but with a dry line already starting to appear in some corners. Kallio got a good start from the sixth row of the grid, quickly picking off places in the opening laps and moving up through the field as riders crashed out of the race in the tricky and changing conditions.
The Finn, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday, eventually finished seventh and was the first Kalex rider home. The result brought his points tally for the season to 128, securing him sixth place in the Moto2 World Championship standings.
Redding got a good start from the third row of the grid, but got pushed wide on the entry to turn one and then was hit by another rider going into turn two. Both incidents cost the 19-year-old Briton time, but it was a lack of mid-corner grip in the damp conditions that robbed Redding of any chance to fight his way back into the points.
The Marc VDS rider eventually finished the race in 22nd position, bringing to a close his most successful Grand Prix season to date. Redding ended fifth in the final championship standings, with four podium finishes to his name.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will return to Valencia for a one-day test tomorrow, before heading to Albacete for two further days of testing on Wednesday and Thursday. At Albacete Kallio and Redding will be joined by Livio Loi, who will contest the 2013 Moto3 World Championship for the team.
Mika Kallio #36: 7th
“I am a little disappointed with the result today, because I was expecting to be faster. I tried to push from the start to stay with the leading group, but it just wasn't possible because I had no rear grip and the rear wheel kept coming round on me on the entry to every corner. Scott has had exactly the same problem in the wet and today it cost me any chance of ending the season with a good result. We start testing for 2013 tomorrow and, if the weather is the same as today, we need to focus on finding a solution to this problem. We're not the only ones suffering from it either, as the results showed quite clearly today. Seventh wasn't such a bad result given my starting position, but I expected more today.”
Scott Redding #45: 22nd
“As soon as we saw the weather we knew today was going to be tough. I got a good start, but was pushed wide in turn one and then in turn two I was hit so hard by someone that I was winded for the first two laps. We knew set up was going to be an issue in the wet; it was a little bit better than it was in Malaysia, but there was still little grip and I was struggling mid-corner. Finishing out of the points is not how I wanted to end the season, but I can take some consolation in finishing fifth in the championship, my best finish so far.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Mika ran a good race today, battling his way through the field in conditions that caught out many riders. I know he wanted to end the season with a better result, but given the problems he's had with the tyres here during practice and qualifying, I think he can be satisfied with a job well done today. The same is true for Scott, who I know fancied his chances of a podium if it was dry. But, unfortunately, it was wet and he struggled with grip issues that meant he wasn't able to come back after the turn two collision. We ended the season with Scott fifth and Mika sixth in the championship, which makes this our most successful season to date. But we are aiming higher in 2013 and we will start working towards that with the test tomorrow. We will also welcome Livio Loi to the team this week in Albacete and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on a Moto3 machine.”