Kallio takes first podium of the season with second at Sachsenring
Mika Kallio took his first podium finish of the 2012 season with a superb second place in the German Moto2 Grand Prix at the Sachsenring this afternoon. What was already a difficult weekend for Scott Redding got even worse today, as he collided with Toni Elias on the opening lap and crashed out of the race.
Kallio, starting from the front row of the grid for the first time this season, got away from the line cleanly and squeezed his what into second place on the run up to the first corner. Andrea Iannone briefly relegated Kallio to third, but the 29-year-old Finn reclaimed second position when the Italian crashed out just eight laps into the race.
For the next 16 laps Kallio shadowed race leader Marc Marquez, matching the pace of the current championship leader but unable to find that little bit of extra pace needed to affect a pass. With six laps to go the Marc VDS rider experienced a drop off in grip from the rear tyre and was forced to let Marquez go.
Kallio was briefly relegated to third by a hard charging Alex de Angelis right at the end of the race, but put in a pass with three laps to go to reclaim second position, which he then defended to the line.
Redding also made a good start from 26th position on the grid, making up places in the first two turns and ready to make up more on the remainder of the opening lap. Unfortunately for the 19-year-old Briton, Toni Elias was forced to sit his bike up in turn three, leaving Redding nowhere to go but the gravel trap. The Marc VDS rider's Kalex Moto2 machine sustained too much damage in the crash for Redding to safely rejoin the race.
The Marc VDS Racing Team now head to the Italian Grand Prix, which takes place at Mugello next weekend. Both riders head to Italy keen to add to the team's podium haul, which currently stands at four – three for Redding and one for Kallio.
Mika Kallio #36: 2nd
“I was pretty confident I could fight for the podium before I lined up on the grid today. The bike has worked well in every session, and in all the weather conditions we've had here at Sachsenring. I got away from the line really well and managed to get cleanly through turn one, then it was just a case of settling into the race and finding my rhythm. I was able to match the lap times of Marc Marquez for most of the race, but in the last six laps I lost a little bit of grip and he was able to pull out a gap at the front. The drop off was enough to allow Alex de Angelis to catch and pass me, but there was no way I was going to let him take second place away from me. I reclaimed second with three laps to go and then held on to the chequered flag. I really enjoyed the battle with Marc and Alex, and I think they did too, and I'm obviously happy to be on the podium for the first time this season. I have to say a big thank you to the team, who worked hard to give me such a competitive bike this weekend.”
Scott Redding #45: DNF
“It was never going to be easy starting from the ninth row of the grid today. I had a plan for the opening lap, to pick up as many places as I could, and it worked perfectly in turns one and two. Unfortunately it didn't work quite as well in turn three, where I just clipped Toni Elias after he stood the bike up in the corner. It was enough to put me in the gravel trap with the bike too damaged to continue. It's not been a good weekend for us at all, but we need to put it behind us now and move on to the next race, which is just seven days away at Mugello.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Today we experienced both the highs and lows of racing. Mika has done a fantastic job all weekend, running at the front in every session and all conditions. He got a great start, settled into the race quickly and was able to match Marc Marquez lap for lap right up until the closing stages, but dropped back slightly as the rear tyre went off with just six laps to go. Mika had a good battle with Alex de Angelis at the end of the race, getting the better of the Italian right at the end to take second place. I'm really happy for him and his crew, as they've worked hard for this since the start of the season. Scott knows that his qualifying performance was the cause of today's crash. He had to push to make up places from the ninth row, and that put him in the wrong place at the wrong time. He will learn from this experience, as he always does, and I'm confident he'll be back at the sharp end next weekend at Mugello.”