Kallio shines in difficult conditions at Misano
Mika Kallio mastered the difficult mixed conditions to finish the opening day at Misano fifth fastest, despite a low speed crash towards the end of this afternoon's wet session. Scott Redding struggled to find a good feeling with the bike in the difficult conditions and ended the day in 17th position.
Mika Kallio was tenth fastest in this morning's 45-minute free practice, which was held in wet conditions after a rain shower arrived over the Misano circuit shortly before the start of the session. Grip was both difficult to find and the level difficult to predict, offering little feedback to Kallio as he pushed to find the limit on full wet tyres.
Conditions were similar for the start of this afternoon's second free practice, with the sporadic rain arriving at the start and soaking the track, but then stopping almost immediately, allowing conditions to improve as the session progressed. Kallio was running consistently near the top of the timesheet throughout, improving on his time from this morning, but had to settle for fifth position after crashing uninjured towards the end of the session.
Kallio wasn't the only Marc VDS rider to crash today, as Redding went down uninjured after losing the front in this morning's free practice. The 19-year-old Briton returned to the track before the end of the session, eventually finishing 17th fastest.
Like his teammate Redding improved his lap time during this afternoon's free practice, but struggled with edge grip in the wet conditions, on a track that offered little in the way of grip or feedback. The Marc VDS rider ended the day 17th fastest, but is confident that, once conditions improve tomorrow, he has the pace to run closer to the top of the timesheet.
Mika Kallio #36: 5th – 1'52.569
“Apart from the crash this afternoon, I think we can be satisfied with fifth position and just 0.5 off the fastest guys in these conditions today. The crash was one of those things; maybe I made a small mistake and got a bit off line, because the rear just came round on me when I got on the throttle and it flicked me over the highside. Ahead of this afternoon's session we made a few small set-up changes, which improved the feeling, but the grip level is so low here it was difficult to know where the limit was. I was on the pace in these conditions today but, like everyone else, I'm hoping the forecast for better weather tomorrow proves to be correct.”
Scott Redding #45: 17th – 1'53.998
“The crash this morning was a little bit unexpected; I was just riding around when I gave it a little bit too much front brake, locked the front and it chucked me off. This afternoon's session wasn't too bad, but I didn't quite have the feeling that I normally have in the rain. I struggled a bit to get the bike turned and I was missing a bit of edge grip at the rear. I was trying to be smooth, but the bike was moving around a lot underneath me and lap times just didn't seem to come. I'm not too concerned, as the conditions are supposed to be better tomorrow and we know we have a dry set-up that we can go straight into the race with if we need to.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Rain, blustery wind and a cold and slippery track; conditions couldn't have been much worse today. Mika did a good job today, quickly finding a set-up and a rhythm that allowed him to continually improve his pace throughout both sessions. Unfortunately he got caught out right at the end, crashing without injury after going off line, otherwise I think he'd have been a bit closer to the top of the timesheet today. Scott's confidence took a bit of a knock with the crash this morning and he wasn't able to find a good feeling with the bike in either session as a result. The forecast is for better conditions tomorrow, and I'm confident that Scott will take advantage to improve his pace and his position.”