Redding on the pace as rain disrupts final free practice in Qatar
The onset of rain halfway through this evening’s third and final free practice session in Qatar meant that none of the top ten riders were able to improve their lap times from yesterday, with the result that Scott Redding and Mika Kallio remain fourth and eighth on combined times.
With dark clouds gathering over the Losail International Circuit ahead of the final free practice session, Redding wasted no time once the session started, posting his fastest time of the evening on his eighth lap, shortly before rain forced all the riders back to pit lane.
Kallio wasn’t so lucky. Still working on the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine, the 30-year-old Finn had just returned to the track to push for a quick lap time when the rain arrived over the circuit. With rain continuing to fall sporadically throughout the remainder of the session, no further improvement in lap time was possible for Kallio.
Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Qatar takes place tomorrow evening, followed less than three hours later by warm-up for Sunday’s race.
Scott Redding #45: 4th – 2’01.433
“The problem with Qatar is that even when the skies are completely black, you’re not sure if it’s going to rain or not. In the end we decided to continue with our original plan and I managed to post my fastest lap on the second exit, just before the rain came for the first time. After that I was trying to push to further improve my time, but the rain kept reappearing and the track conditions were changing with every lap. I’m happy enough with third today, especially as I did the time on a used tyre.”
Mika Kallio #36: 8th – 2’01.981
“We made some changes to the set-up ahead of the final session today and, to be honest, they didn’t work. On the first exit the bike felt completely different and I wasn’t getting any feedback from the tyres, only chatter. We switched back to the previous set-up and, although there was still some vibration from the front, the feeling was immediately better. Unfortunately, before I had a chance to find my rhythm and push for a fast lap the rain arrived and that was that. Obviously I’m not happy to have effectively lost a session, as it leaves us with work to do in qualifying tomorrow.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Rain has been a constant companion for the Moto2 teams during testing, but if you can’t race in the middle of the desert without it raining then what hope is there? Scott managed to get in a quick lap early in the session to go third, but Mika wasn’t quite so lucky. He made some changes to the bike overnight and had to confirm these changes before starting to push for a fast lap, which, unfortunately, coincided with the arrival of the rain. Hopefully the weather will improve ahead of qualifying tomorrow, as I want to see both riders pushing for a front row start in Sunday’s race.”