Qualifying one-two for Marc VDS at Misano
Misano, Italy – 13 September 2014: Mika Kallio will start tomorrow’s 26-lap Moto2 race at Misano from pole position, with his Marc VDS teammate, Tito Rabat, lining up alongside him on the grid in second place.
After the rain dampened proceedings of yesterday, conditions were almost perfect today at Misano, with warm and sunny weather greeting the riders as they headed out for qualifying this afternoon.
Rabat made the early running, but it was Kallio who topped the timesheet as the chequered flag brought qualifying to a close, despite encountering brake issues during the session.
It is Kallio’s third pole position of the season – he won from pole both times previously – but it’s also the third time the two Marc VDS riders have lined up one-two on the grid this year.
With the front row of the grid separated by just 0.071s and the top ten within 0.5s of each other, tomorrow’s Moto2 Grand Prix promises to be a real battle.
This morning’s Moto3 free practice was Jorge Navarro’s first dry session at Misano, but he adapted quickly to finish inside the top ten aboard the Marc VDS Kalex-KTM. The 18-year-old Spaniard looked all set to claim a top ten finish in qualifying too, but he lost time to a minor crash at the midpoint of the 40-minute timed session and will start tomorrow’s 23-lap Moto3 race from 13th on the grid.
Mika Kallio // Pole Position // 1’38.042
“I’m really satisfied to be on pole here, as Misano has never really been one of my favourite tracks, but now we are faster than last year. It’s really tight, with the top five really close, so it’s going to be a tough race tomorrow. The bike felt okay at the start of qualifying, but when we switched to new tyres I immediately had a problem with the front brake. To not lose time, we switched back to the front wheel with the used tyre we’d used at the start of the session and that was better. I knew I had to push for in the last ten minutes and I was really on the edge during my fastest lap, but that’s what was needed for pole position today.”
Tito Rabat // 2nd // 1’38.110
“It’s good to be on the front row for tomorrow, but I’m not happy because Mika was faster today and I missed the focus I normally have in practice and qualifying. We had some issues with the bike, which the team did a good job of sorting out, but by then we were into the last minutes of qualifying. It will be a tough battle tomorrow, as the top ten are so close on pace, but I’ll be pushing as hard as always for the win.”
Jorge Navarro // 13th // 1’43.974
“Today was a good day for me. From the beginning this morning my lap times were good and I ended the free practice session in tenth. In qualifying it was difficult at the start because of the traffic, but after we pitted for new tyres I managed two flying laps that put me into the top ten. Unfortunately I then had a small crash, which lost me both time and a bit of confidence. On my final run I was on a quick lap behind Alex Marquez when he crashed right in front of me and then, on my final flying lap, I had a bit of a moment myself. I’m happy, because today was my first time on this track in the dry and I’m just one second from pole. Now I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”