Redding and Kallio aiming for the podium in Estoril
Marc VDS Racing Team riders, Scott Redding and Mika Kallio, head for this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril with a podium firmly in their sights, after an encouraging performance in Jerez.
Redding finished an impressive fourth in Jerez, after coming through the field from 12th position on the grid to lead the race for six of the 17 laps. The result means the 19-year-old Briton now lies fourth in the championship standings, a position he is keen to improve upon this weekend.
A near highside late in the Jerez race robbed Kallio of any chance of a top five finish, but his seventh place finish means the 29-year-old Finn is now sixth in the championship standings and just eight points behind his Marc VDS teammate.
Neither of the Marc VDS riders count Estoril amongst their favourite circuits, but Redding took a hard fought fourth place in the Moto2 race in 2010, while Kallio secured his first ever Grand Prix win at the circuit with victory in the 2005 125cc race.
Just like in Jerez, the weather could play a big part this weekend in Portugal. Rain is forecast for all three days, at a track that saw qualifying for all three classes cancelled two years ago due to flooding.
Estoril is one of the slowest tracks on the Moto2 calendar but it nonetheless represents a huge challenge to the riders as it snakes its way through 13 corners, including numerous hairpins and a technically demanding chicane.
Livio Loi will join the Marc VDS Racing Team once again at Estoril, where the 15-year-old Belgian rider will contest rounds three and four of the MotoGP Rookies Cup. Loi currently lies ninth in the championship standings, after 13th and eighth place finishes in the opening two rounds at Jerez.
Scott Redding #45:
“I head to Portugal this time off the back of a good result in Jerez, where I proved I had the pace to challenge at the front of the race, so I'm pretty confident going into this weekend. I know if everything goes our way in practice and qualifying at Estoril then I can challenge for the podium in the race. The Estoril circuit is quite technical with a lot of heavy braking areas and the forecast for this weekend is for rain, again. Hopefully it won't be like 2010 when it was so heavy they had to cancel qualifying!”
Mika Kallio #36:
“For me Estoril is a bit of a Mickey Mouse track, very stop and go, with a lot of slow corners. I don't like it so much but, for some reason, I've had good results there in the past, including my first ever Grand Prix win. Anyway, we head to Portugal looking for a podium finish and, after battling my way up to the leading group in Jerez, I don't think that's an unrealistic goal this weekend.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Scott and Mika's performance in Jerez was very encouraging; it was good to see both of them on the pace and involved in the battle for the race lead. I hope we will see the same again this weekend in Estoril, where I'm confident a podium finish is well within their capabilities. The weather for this weekend looks to be decidedly wet, but having experienced almost every type of weather other than snow in Jerez, I think we should have a workable set-up whatever the conditions in Estoril.”