Redding confident of success at the Cathedral of Speed!
The Marc VDS Racing Team are looking to continue the form that saw Scott Redding finish an impressive second, and Mika Kallio a solid tenth, last time out at Silverstone during this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen.
Currently lying fifth in the Moto2 championship standings, Redding's second place at Silverstone, his second podium of the season, saw the 19-year-old Briton close the gap on both championship leader Marc Márquez and fourth placed Andrea Iannone.
Redding now trails Iannone by just 14 points, a gap that the Marc VDS rider is keen to reduce even further with another top five finish in this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen, which is unique on the Moto2 calendar in that the race takes place on Saturday afternoon rather than the more usual Sunday.
Kallio's performance was hampered by a front suspension issue during practice and qualifying at Silverstone, which left him on the sixth row of the grid, but the Marc VDS rider bounced back to take a solid tenth place finish in the race, despite struggling for rear grip in the latter stages.
The 29-year-old Finn has shown repeatedly this season that he has the pace to run at the front of the race, but has been handicapped by poor qualifying performances. Kallio and his crew will focus this weekend on Friday afternoon's qualifying session, with the aim being to secure a position on the front two rows of the grid for Saturday's 24-lap Moto2 race.
The historic Circuit van Drenthe, or the Cathedral of Speed as it is often referred to, is the only track that has appeared on the Grand Prix calendar every year since the series started in its current form back in 1949. A former public roads circuit, Assen has been extensively modified in recent years, but has lost little of the unique character that makes it a favourite with riders in all classes.
Livio Loi joins the Marc VDS Racing Team once again at Assen, where the 15-year-old from Helchteren in Belgium will contest rounds six and seven of the Red Bull Rookies Cup. After a tough start to the season, Loi is hoping for a significant improvement this weekend at Assen, the first track on the calendar at which he's raced previously.
Scott Redding #45:
“Like Silverstone Assen is another old style circuit, where you can carry lots of speed through the turns, and that suits my riding style better than the more modern stop start style tracks we normally race on. The Silverstone result, and the fact that I was able to get the better of Marc Márquez in a straight fight, gives me some confidence going into this weekend. Our target will be the podium once again, but I wouldn't be too disappointed to come away from Assen with a top five finish and some solid championship points.”
Mika Kallio #36:
“We had some problems at Silverstone, with the front fork causing issues in qualifying and a lack of rear grip in the latter stages of the race stopping me from making contact with the leading group. This weekend at Assen we will make some changes to the bike to conserve the rear tyre in the race. It's a set-up we tried in winter testing, so we know we'll be compromising how the bike turns in, but prolonging the rear tyre life is more important to the race results. We need to get the bike dialled in on the first day, so that we can start building towards qualifying. Silverstone aside, too often this year my race has been almost over before it began after qualifying so far down the grid, and this is something we still need to address. If I can qualify nearer the front then I'm confident I can be up there in the race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Scott rode a great race at Silverstone to finish second. He conserved his tyres by being less aggressive with the bike during the middle part of the race and was able to use the grip at the end to get the better of Marc Márquez on the last lap. I hope he's learnt from this and, starting this weekend in Assen, we'll see him ride with the same intelligence for the remainder of the season. I have no doubt he can challenge for the podium once again at Assen, a track that should suit his riding style. The track should also suit Mika, as it rewards smooth riding, but he needs to improve his qualifying performance if he is to capitalise on his obvious pace in the races. If he can start from the front two rows of the grid this weekend, and it's a big if, then I'm confident he can finish Saturday's race inside the top five.”