Redding and Kallio both on the pace at Brno
Brno, Czech Republic – 23 August 2012: Scott Redding and Mika Kallio remain confident of challenging for the podium in this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix, after a successful opening day at the Automotodrom Brno. Redding ended the day fourth fastest on combined times, with Kallio just four places further back in eighth.
The positions at the end of the day were the reverse of those after this morning's 45-minute first free practice session, which ended with Kallio fourth, Redding eighth and the top 15 riders all within once second of the fastest time, which was set by Pol Espargaro.
While Redding used this afternoon's session to up his pace on new tyres, Kallio focussed instead on fine-tuning the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine.
Redding pushed hard during the first part of this afternoon's 45-minute practice, moving steadily up the timesheet and eventually posting the fastest lap of the weekend with ten minutes left to run. The Marc VDS rider's hold on provisional pole position was short-lived, however, as his lap time was disallowed for cutting the track at turn two, demoting Redding to fourth place on combined times.
Kallio lost time at the beginning of this afternoon's free practice to a technical fault with the quickshifter on his Kalex Moto2 bike. Despite continuing with the same tyres with which he'd completed the morning session, Kallio lapped within three-tenths of his fastest lap this afternoon and is confident of further improvement ahead of tomorrow's all-important qualifying.
With the top 18 riders within one second of provisional pole sitter, Pol Espargaro, Sunday's Czech Republic Moto2 Grand Prix promises to be a closely contested affair.
Scott Redding #45: 4th – 2'03.397
“Brno hasn't been a good track for me in the past, but on the trip here from Indianapolis I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could improve here. One of the things was not running wide out of the turns, which isn't easy to do, as it's sort of my style. It's worked pretty well today and the only slight issue I've had is with edge grip. It was a bit annoying to have my fastest lap disallowed, as I was on the limit everywhere, but better it happens today rather than in the last five minutes of qualifying. I thought I was only half a tyre width off the track on that lap, but when I saw a replay it was a lot further than that, so it was a fair cop! Anyway, it was red helmets all the way for the rest of the lap, even though I wasn't pushing that hard, so I know I can run that pace, or maybe go even faster, tomorrow.”
Mika Kallio #36: 8th – 2'03.626
“Our plan was always to stay on the same tyres for both sessions today, and to save a set of new tyres for qualifying tomorrow, which was why I was a little slower in the afternoon compared to the morning. We also missed completely our first pit exit this afternoon because of a problem with the shifter, which cost us quite a bit of time. We also tried a few suspension changes that didn't really give the improvements we were expecting, so we need to come back a little bit on the settings for tomorrow. I'm confident I can qualify well tomorrow and, if I do that, then I'll be up there fighting for my second podium of the season on Sunday.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It's been a good opening day for both Scott and Mika here at Brno. We knew Mika was going to be fast here, as it's a track that seems to suit his style perfectly, which he proved by setting the fourth quickest time this morning. He continued with the same tyres this afternoon, which meant he didn't improve his lap time, but the extra set of tyres he now has for qualifying tomorrow should see him on the front two rows of the grid if all goes well. This is a track that Scott has struggled at in the past, but his approach to this weekend has been very calculated. He knew where he needed to improve and, as his fastest lap this afternoon shows quite clearly, that's exactly what he's done. It's a shame he had the lap disallowed today, but he's held his hands up to cutting the track and it's far better to have this happen today, rather than in qualifying tomorrow!”