Redding immediately up to speed on opening day at Silverstone
Scott Redding got his home Grand Prix weekend off to a solid start by posting the fifth fastest time in today’s two practice sessions at Silverstone. Mika Kallio had a good opening free practice session, but was brought down in a collision this afternoon and ended the day 15th on the timesheet.
The difficulties of Brno were forgotten today, as Redding stamped his authority on proceedings and topped the timesheet in the first free practice session, much to the delight of the British fans.
This afternoon the 20-year-old Briton worked with his crew to further refine the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine, but still managed to improve his lap time by 0.5s to finish the day fifth fastest overall and, more importantly, one place ahead of his main championship rival, Pol Espargaro.
Brimming with confidence after his win at Brno less than a week ago, Mika Kallio was quickly on the pace during this morning’s free practice, ending the session in 7th position and just 0.3s off the time of his Marc VDS teammate.
The 30-year-old Finn made some minor changes to both the bike and his riding style during this afternoon’s 45-minute session, as he worked to further improve his position, but just as the lap times started to drop he was involved in a collision with Rafid Topan Sucipto and crashed without injury. Unable to return to the track before the end of the session, Kallio couldn’t improve on his previous best lap and ended the day 15th on combined times.
Livio Loi only managed to complete six laps in the first Moto3 free practice before a mechanical issue with the quick shifter on his Kalex-KTM machine forced him back to the pit box, where he sat out the remainder of the session.
For the afternoon practice session the 16-year-old Belgian made some big changes to the machine set-up, in a bid to reduce the effect of the braking bumps that have caused issues for a number of riders today. While the bike was better over the bumps, the changes reduced the feedback from the front tyre, especially through the faster turns, of which Silverstone has many. Despite this, Loi managed to improve his lap time by more than two seconds, ending the day in 27th position, but confident of further improvement tomorrow.
Scott Redding #45: 5th – 2’08.506
“Overall the feeling with the bike has been good, much better than at Brno one week ago. This morning I felt pretty comfortable straight away. We tried a few things on the bike, as I was struggling just a little with front grip in a couple of corners, but everything else was working pretty well. I’m certainly a lot more settled on the bike after the first day here at Silverstone than I was on the Friday last week, so I’m happy enough.”
Mika Kallio #36: 15th – 2’09.419
“We started this morning with the settings close to how we finished in Brno and the bike felt pretty good. We made only a few small changes throughout the session, just to try and find some more time through a few of the corners, but it was enough to finish close to Scott, who is always fast here. This afternoon we made a few more small changes and I was using a different gear through some of the turns, which meant it took me a few laps to find a good rhythm. On my last few laps my time was improving, but then I had the coming together with Sucipto and crashed. I don’t know exactly what happened, as I haven’t seen the video, but I felt the contact on the back as I turned in and down I went. It was unlucky, but at least I walked away uninjured.”
Livio Loi #11: 27th – 2’17.726
“Early on in this morning’s session the bike was unstable over the bumps here at Silverstone, but a problem with the quickshifter lost us time and meant we couldn’t try any changes during the 40 minutes. This afternoon we set the bike up very differently, to make it more stable over the bumps, but this left me without any feedback from the front, which felt vague and was moving around a lot from mid-corner onwards. Even so, I improved my lap time by more than two seconds this afternoon, so some progress was made. If we can find a compromise in the settings tomorrow then I think it’s possible to make another big step with the lap time.”
Peter Benson: Chief Mechanic – Scott Redding
“Brno was a bit of a bump. We went there expecting big things and it didn’t quite happen for a couple of reasons. Silverstone is different. When Scott comes here; yes, there’s big pressure because it’s his home race, but he likes the circuit and he’s always good on big, fast racetracks. Both of the tyre options we have seem to be working well here too, which always helps. Overall, a pretty good first day.”