Redding and Kallio facing a tough task in Qatar
Scott Redding and Mika Kallio face a tough task in tomorrow's Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening race of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship, after qualifying well below expectations in 13th and 14th places respectively.
Redding was unable to significantly improve on his time from free practice yesterday, after the front-end chatter that has been an issue all weekend returned with a vengeance during qualifying. The Marc VDS rider tried a number of set-up changes on his Kalex Moto2 machine during the 45-minute session, to try and reduce the chatter, but with little success.
Having lost most of yesterday's practice session to a technical problem, Kallio was forced to continue evaluating set-up options during the first part of today's qualifying session. Unfortunately for the Finn he was unable to find the same feeling with the bike and the rhythm that had seen him finish top six on the timesheet on Thursday.
Redding and Kallio are hopeful of finding a solution for tomorrow's race, and both remain confident they can battle their way to a top ten finish.
Scott Redding #45: 13th – 2'01.031
“The front-end chatter was a real issue in qualifying, much worse than it was in the free practice sessions. We tried a couple of set-up changes to try and at least reduce it, but we weren't even slightly successful. Why it should have been so bad today I have no idea, as we haven't really changed anything on the bike. It made it almost impossible to push for a fast lap time tonight. We need to sit down and find a solution to the problem ahead of the race, as battling through from the fifth row of the grid tomorrow will be hard enough without having to ride around a chatter problem as well.”
Mika Kallio #36: 14th – 2'01.111
“The fact that we missed most of yesterday's session put us on the back foot today. We were still trying things on the bike in qualifying that we should have tested yesterday and, as a result, my lap times were up and down. It meant I couldn't find the good rhythm needed to set a fast lap and we ended up on the fifth row of the grid. The good news is that we finally found a good set-up in warm-up, so I'm still confident we can go out tomorrow and fight for a decent result. The pace of the front guys is fast, but I think if I can get a good start and make up places in the opening laps then a good start to the season is still possible.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I'm disappointed, because we expected to be starting this race from the front two rows of the grid. Scott and Mika were fast in preseason testing, they were fast during free practice here but, when it came to qualifying today, there was something missing. We've made only small changes to the bikes over the three days and the track conditions have been pretty consistent since Thursday, so why the lap times didn’t improve significantly in qualifying is something of a mystery. We will sit down tonight with both riders and their crew chiefs, to find out what we can do to turn things around ahead of the race tomorrow. We did not realise our true potential today and now we need to understand why.”