Marc VDS ready to race after successful final test
The Marc VDS Racing Team are ready to race, after successfully completing the final preseason test of 2013 at Jerez today.
All three of the team’s riders – Scott Redding, Mika Kallio and Livio Loi – were able to work through their planned test schedules, despite rain interrupting proceedings on the first full day of testing.
Redding was happy enough his lap times in both wet and dry conditions to park his Kalex Moto2 machine on Wednesday evening and sit out today’s final track sessions. The 20-year-old Briton ended the test fifth fastest and just 0.7s from the top of the timesheet.
Both Kallio and Loi continued testing into this morning, but the 30-year-old Finn was unable to better his time from the first day and finished 10th on combined times. Loi was also unable to improve his time today, after the wind picked up considerably for the Moto3 session, but finished the test 21st fastest and just one second off a top ten position.
The team will now crate up the bikes and equipment for transport to the first Grand Prix of the 2013 season, which takes place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Sunday 7th April.
Scott Redding #45: 5th – 1’43.372
“For once the weather was kind to us and we got some dry miles done on the bike this week. We’ve got a good direction with the set-up and we haven’t had to test as much here, which allowed me to focus on just riding and building confidence on the bike. The one rainy day here at Jerez was ideal to confirm our wet weather set-up. The fact that I was fastest in the wet also helps to build confidence. We know exactly where we’re at after this test and we know what we need to do at the first race, which is all I’m focussed on right now.”
Mika Kallio #36: 10th – 1'43.774
“The one positive we can take from this test at Jerez is that we managed to confirm that we went the right way with the settings in Albacete. The chatter that we had last year, including here in Jerez, has all but gone, so that’s a big step forward. We were hoping to do more here, but I lost the front without warning at the fast turn 12 yesterday and went down hard. I was lucky to walk away uninjured, but it effectively ended the day for me as the bike was badly damaged. The lost track time meant we didn’t get to try everything we had planned, but we already know how we need to set up the bike for the first race, so it’s not such an issue. I could have done with more time on the bike just to build more confidence, but these things happen in racing and we just have to deal with it.”
Livio Loi #11: 21st – 1’48.568
“Overall I’m pretty happy with the test. We were fast once again in the wet and we made definite improvements in the dry. Of course, I’d like to be a little bit nearer to the top of the timesheet, but racing at this level is very new for me and I need to learn to walk before I can run. I could have gone faster, a 1’47 was definitely possible, but in these conditions the chance of a crash was just too high and the last thing I need is an injury before the season has even started. There is still some work to do on our set-up in the dry, but this will come with more laps on the bike. At the moment I’m relying very much on the team when it comes to settings, but this will change once I gain more experience on the bike. It will be tough to sit out the first two GP races, because all I want to do now is race!”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Despite the best efforts of the weather this year, we’re ready to race. Both Scott and Livio showed impressive pace in the wet and Scott backed that up with fast and consistent lap times in the dry. We know where we are with him; where we are strong and where we need to improve. Mika has also made solid progress with a very different set-up on the bike than he’s used to. I’m confident that he’d have finished higher up the order if he hadn’t lost time to a crash yesterday. What can I say about Livio; he has already exceeded our expectations in the dry but when the weather turned wet he was straight into the top five on the timesheet. He will miss the first two races because of his age, but he’ll test and race in the national championships at Le Mans and Catalunya instead, so he knows the tracks when he returns later in the season for the Grand Prix.”