Redding and Kallio ready for Spanish showdown in Barcelona

Redding and Kallio ready for Spanish showdown in Barcelona

Scott Redding heads into this weekend’s Grand Prix de Catalunya with a commanding 43 point lead in the FIM Moto2 World Championship standings, after back-to-back wins in Le Mans and Mugello.

The 20-year-old Briton could make it a hat-trick of wins in Barcelona, but he’ll face tough opposition from the Spanish trio of Nico Terol, Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro, who will be desperate to win in front of their home crowd and to reduce Redding’s massive lead in the championship.

But it may not be only Redding that the Spanish Armada has to keep an eye on this weekend. Mika Kallio currently lies third in the championship – level on points with Terol in second – but the 30-year-old Finn heads to Barcelona with his sights set firmly on giving the Marc VDS Racing Team a one-two at the top of the standings on Sunday.

Livio Loi endured a difficult weekend last time out in Mugello, with set-up issues hampering his progress throughout practice, qualifying and the race, which ended with a 25th place finish. The 16-year-old Belgian made progress with the bike during a test at the Italian circuit on the Tuesday after the race and, as a result, heads to Catalonia with his confidence restored.

Scott Redding #45:
“We head to into this weekend knowing that this race is going to be a bit different. We’re back in Spain, so it’s another home Grand Prix for Terol, Rabat and Espargaro, which means they’ll have the crowd behind them and they’ll be strong. On the other hand, I head to Barcelona with a big points lead in the championship and I’m determined to leave with it intact. To do that I need to ride a smart race, stay out of trouble and pick up as many points as I can this weekend.”

Mika Kallio #36:
“Despite finishing fifth in Mugello, my feeling with the bike just wasn’t there and I need to get that feeling back if we’re going to challenge for the podium in Barcelona. The priority is to be closer to the front from first practice onwards, because we know the three riders closest to me in the championship will be pushing hard and will be prepared to take bigger risks with their home crowd behind them. I’m still pushing for my first win in Moto2, and I’ve had some good results at Catalunya in the past, but if I finish on the podium this weekend then I’ll be happy enough with that.”

Livio Loi #11:
“While Mugello was a difficult weekend for me, we made a big step during the test at the track on Tuesday and my feeling with the bike was much better. Now we return to the Montmeló circuit, where I raced the opening Spanish Championship round earlier in the season. The bike worked well and my lap times were good there, so I’m confident that a finish in the points is a realistic goal this weekend.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This is the second of four home rounds this season for the likes of Nico Terol, Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro, so we already know they’re going to be strong with the backing of their home crowd. But we will continue to do what we’ve been doing; focussing on our own race with Scott and Mika, which has served us well up to now. Livio had a difficult weekend in Mugello, but worked hard at the post race test to improve his feeling with the bike, with positive results. I’m confident this weekend in Catalonia we’ll see him back in the points where he belongs.”