Redding returns in hot form at world famous Indianapolis
Moto2 World Championship leader Scott Redding wasted no time in returning to fast form after the four-week summer break to set the second best time at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.
The Marc VDS Racing rider blew off a few cobwebs on his first ride on the Kalex machine since Germany's Sachsenring clash in mid-July, the British rider finishing ninth quickest in cool and overcast conditions in this morning's FP1.
Firmly back in race mode for this afternoon’s second session, Redding took full advantage of warmer conditions that offered more grip on the unpredictable Indianapolis surface to finish in second position. A best time of 1.43.977 was only 0.294s off the fastest time set by Simone Corsi and a huge improvement of almost 1.3s between sessions.
Finnish teammate Mika Kallio also enjoyed a positive return to action today and he was 10thquickest on combined times having immediately found a comfortable set-up with his Kalex machine.
He set his best lap time of 1.44.573 on a front tyre which had over 30 laps already completed on it in a successful endurance test and he is optimistic he can be challenging for a top six position in tomorrow’s qualifying session.
A short rain shower during this morning’s opening Moto3 practice session was the last thing teenage Belgian rider Livio Loi needed while trying to learn the 2.620 miles Brickyard layout, which is notorious for its unpredictable grip in dry and wet conditions.
On a dry but slippery surface this afternoon, Loi was able to lap a massive 4.1s faster, the 16-year-old surging five places up the rankings to 19th with a pace of 1.50.480 that bodes well for a strong challenge in Sunday’s 23-lap race.
Scott Redding #45: 2nd – 1.43.977
“This morning wasn’t so good and I didn’t really feel comfortable with the bike. I’ve only been riding motocross and supermoto bikes since Germany so it felt a bit strange coming back to the Moto2 bike. I just decided to take it easy but I still wasn’t so far off the pace and this afternoon I was more in my normal strong mindset and I felt much more comfortable. The lap times were coming relatively easily and I was happy with my consistency. This is a very important phase of the Championship with three races in a row and I am just concentrating on collecting as many points as I can.”
Mika Kallio #36: 10th – 1.44.573
“I am in 10th position which isn’t a fantastic result but I am happy with my feeling on the bike. I think we have found a good set-up but in the last exit of FP2 when most of the field were able to go quicker, we made some changes to the front suspension and also tried a different front tyre and unfortunately it was the wrong direction. That’s why I’m a bit further back than I’d like to be but still the gap to the front is not so big and I am confident I can be faster and higher up tomorrow.”
Livio Loi #11: 19th – 1.50.480
“Today was all about learning the track and I only stopped once in both sessions to make as many laps as possible. The rain this morning didn’t help and cost me some time on track but I am happy with my performance, even though we can make improvements to the turning of the bike tomorrow because I run wide in a few places. I like the circuit although it is quite bumpy and it is not easy to understand the grip with the different sections of asphalt. You get used to the grip in one section and then the asphalt changes but to finish 19th on my first day is positive and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Michael Bartholemy – Team Principal
“Today was a good way to return to action with Scott very competitive this afternoon and Mika also riding very well. Scott was very consistent and this is the most important thing because it means he is preparing well to be in the best shape for Sunday’s race. Mika wasn’t so far off the pace of the top three and he seems very happy with the bike, so if he can find some more improvements I am very confident he will be competitive. Livio did a very solid job today and the most important thing for him was to build up his experience of a difficult track to learn with the changing track surface. He got up to 14th at one stage this afternoon and I am sure with more laps under his belt he can perform well this weekend.”