Marc VDS to field four riders at Le Mans this weekend
The Marc VDS Racing Team head this weekend to the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, where Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are keen to continue the run of form that has seen a Marc VDS rider finish on the podium in every Moto2 race so far this season.
Redding heads to Le Mans off the back of a second place finish in Jerez – where he was one of only two non-Spanish riders on the podium – and a successful two-day test at the Almeria Circuit. The 20-year-old Briton currently trails championship leader Tito Rabat by just a single point but is keen to reverse the positions this weekend, on a track at which he finished on the podium last season.
A crash that forced him out of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez saw Kallio drop to seventh in the championship standings, but the 30-year-old Finn heads to France determined to close the gap to the top five. Kallio has enjoyed success at Le Mans previously, twice finishing on the podium in the 125cc category and taking a hard fought fifth place in last year’s French Moto2 Grand Prix.
After an impressive debut that saw him finish in the points last time out in Jerez, Livio Loi heads to France with his sights set firmly on another top 15 finish. The 16-year-old Belgian won the opening round of the French Moto3 Championship at the track earlier this year and arrives in France full of confidence after a successful two-day test at the Aragon circuit in Spain.
Joining Loi in the Marc VDS Moto3 box this weekend at Le Mans will be Frenchman Jules Danilo, who will be making the first of three wild card appearances with the Marc VDS Racing Team.
The Elf logo will be prominent on all four of the Marc VDS bikes and riders at Le Mans, as part of an agreement that will see the French oil and lubricants giant as the primary sponsor of the Marc VDS Racing Team at five races this season, starting with the French Grand Prix this weekend.
Scott Redding #45:
“It’s been a strong start to the season and, three races in, I’m just one point off the top of the championship standings. But this early on the championship standings are just names on a piece of paper. More important is approaching the Le Mans weekend as we have the previous three races, putting in the work during practice and qualifying to give us the best chance of a good result on Sunday. It’s worked for us so far, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t work again this weekend.”
Mika Kallio #36:
“We’ve put the disappointment of Jerez behind us now. The two-day test at Almeria was interesting, because we tried a set-up on the bike that is quite different to the one we’ve used for the first three races this season. The changes worked well at Almeria and we’re confident they’ll also work at Le Mans, where there are quite a few chicanes and hard braking points. An added advantage is that the revised set-up appears to offer more rear traction, which was our major problem in Jerez. Obviously we will confirm the new settings in practice at Le Mans, but I’m hopeful they’ll work and we’ll be back to where we were in Austin just two races ago.”
Livio Loi #11:
“It was good to finish in the points on my debut in Jerez, but now I need to do the same again this weekend in Le Mans. I won the French Championship race at Le Mans earlier this year, so I know the track, but I’m hoping for slightly less snow when we return for the Grand Prix this weekend! Qualifying on the seventh row of the grid in Jerez made the race more difficult for me, so I need to focus on improving my grid position at Le Mans. I need to be more aggressive, more on the limit in qualifying. I was pushing hard in Jerez, but I think there is still some time to find and, hopefully, I’ll be able to do this in Le Mans this weekend.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“At every race so far this season we’ve had a Marc VDS rider on the Moto2 podium and this is a trend I’d like to see continue this weekend in Le Mans. It is the first race of the season at which Elf will be our primary sponsor and I’d like nothing more than to give them something to celebrate at their home race, just as we did last season. I know Scott and Mika feel the same way and, as they’ve shown already this year, both are capable of finishing on the podium. Livio started strongly with a points scoring finish on his Moto3 debut in Jerez, a success I hope he can repeat this weekend, on a track at which he has already won a race this season. I’d also like to extend a warm welcome to Jules Danilo, who joins us this weekend in Le Mans for the first of three wild card appearances he’ll make this season.”