New Valencia track surface throws up problems for Redding and Kallio
Scott Redding will start the final Moto2 race of the 2012 season from the third row of the grid, after qualifying eighth fastest at Valencia this afternoon. Mika Kallio faces a tough task starting from the head of the sixth row of the grid tomorrow, after qualifying in 16th place.
Redding was able to lap consistently in the low 1'36s bracket throughout the 45-minute qualifying session, with a best time of 1'35.966 at the end, but the 19-year-old Briton struggled to find the additional few tenths needed to advance up the timesheet.
The decision by Dunlop to remove the original softer rear tyre and replace it with a new extra hard compound for this race has been a major issue for Kallio. The Finn, with his ultra-smooth riding style, is finding it impossible to generate the necessary heat in both rear tyre options, leaving him struggling for grip.
Redding and Kallio will try to improve further during tomorrow's warm up session, but both Marc VDS riders would prefer tomorrow's race to be held in the mixed conditions of yesterday rather than the dry conditions of today.
Scott Redding #45: 8th – 1'35.966
“If anything there is a little bit too much grip with the new track surface here at Valencia. It means you can brake later and open the gas earlier, which is a bit of a strange feeling and I was struggling a little to see where I could make up time today. I pushed hard, tried a few different lines, but every lap was a 1'36 low regardless. That's not normal. The gap between third and eighth is only a couple of tenths, with Pol and Marc another couple of tenths quicker, but at the moment I can't see how to close this gap. I need to think about it tonight and, hopefully, I can come up with something for warm up tomorrow.”
Mika Kallio #36: 16th – 1'36.489
“I'm sure Dunlop had good reasons for taking away the softer option rear and replacing it with an extra hard compound we've never used before, but in doing so they've basically ruined my weekend. For me it's impossible to use the new tyre and I'm struggling to get heat into the hard tyre too. It means I have no rear grip at all; the rear spins up everywhere and then destroys itself in just a few laps. We tried altering the set-up to work the rear harder, but that just made the bike difficult to ride. The only solution I can see now is to pray for rain.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The new track surface here at Valencia has thrown up a few problems, with Scott saying there's too much grip and Mika complaining there is none at all. I'm confident that if the conditions remain the same tomorrow then Scott will adapt and find the last few tenths he's missing. Mika's problem is basically down to his smooth riding style not working the rear tyre enough to get it up to working temperature. With the softer option tyre he had on Friday it wasn't an issue, but Dunlop replaced this tyre with a new extra-hard compound today and both options are now too hard for Mika. Looking at the qualifying results he's not the only one that has this problem. All he can do is pray for rain tomorrow, as it's unlikely the softer option tyre will be made available for the race.”