Overseas races crucial to Redding’s championship dream
Scott Redding arrives in Malaysia for the first of three overseas races that could well prove pivotal in his bid to be the first Briton to win a solo Grand Prix world title in 36 years.
With the championship set to be decided over the remaining four races, and only 20 points separating Redding from Pol Espargaro in the title chase, the pressure on the 20-year-old Briton is starting to build. Redding, however, refuses to let the pressure and expectation distract him from the job at hand and he arrives in Malaysia determined to defend once again his advantage at the top of the championship standings.
Like his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio is also focussed on his championship position. The 30-year-old Finn currently lies fourth, but trails Tito Rabat in third by just 28 points, a gap he is determined to reduce with good results in Malaysia, Australia and Japan.
Livio Loi faces a steep learning curve once again over the next three weeks, as the 16-year-old Belgian will race at three tracks – Sepang, Phillip Island and Motegi – that he’s only experienced on the PlayStation and through watching videos of last year’s Moto3 races. Loi’s aim, however, remains the same, to score points in all three races.
Scott Redding #45 // @Reddingpower
“Doing three races in as many weekends is always tough, but it’s the same for everyone. With just four races left to go all the talk is about pressure, but I’m not feeling it at all. My approach to each race weekend, whether it’s the first of the season or the last, remains the same. I’m looking for a good result, but my main focus is on the title. Malaysia will be a hard race because of the weather conditions. If we’re not dealing with extreme heat and humidity then we have to ride in torrential rain like last year. We have to be ready for anything, which certainly makes things interesting!”
Mika Kallio #36
“Malaysia has been a pretty good track for me in the past. Last year, when we raced in torrential rain, I was seventh, despite being pushed off track by a crash in front of me early in the race. Two years ago, in dry conditions, I was sixth. This year I need to be on the podium if I’m to close the gap to third place in the championship. Qualifying will be critical once again. As we’ve seen in previous races, you need to be on the front three rows to fight for a top three finish in the race, so that’s exactly were I need to be on Saturday afternoon after qualifying.”
Livio Loi #11 // @LivioLoi
“The tracks we’ll race at on the overseas trip are new to me, but I’ve watched last year’s races on video and all three circuits look fun to ride. Here in Sepang the priority is, obviously, to learn the track and it’s important I do this as quickly, during the opening practice session on Friday if possible. Once I know my way around then we will approach practice and qualifying like always. In Aragon I was able to match the pace of the group battling for the top ten, but this weekend in Malaysia I need to actually be in that group. Once again, the aim is to finish in the points at Sepang.”