Redding romps to thrilling Indianapolis pole position
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding’s quest to extend his Moto2 World Championship lead in Indianapolis will start from pole position after the Briton delivered a stunning late attack in qualifying earlier today.
Reluctant to let his rivals, including title challenger Pol Espargaro, follow him in the decisive final moments of today's qualifying session, the 20-year-old ‘s gamble to ride through pit lane to give himself clear track paid off handsomely.
With only enough time left for one final flying lap, Redding produced a faultless and fearless pace of 1.43.026 to claim his third pole position of the season by 0.027s from Espargaro.
And in a double boost for Redding’s prospects in tomorrow’s 25-lap race, his Kalex machine was the fastest through the speed traps at 282.8kph, rewarding the tireless efforts of the Marc VDS Racing Team and Kalex to improve his performance in a straight line.
Tomorrow’s race will be a challenging affair for Mika Kallio, who was less than a second off Redding’s outstanding pace but 15th in the rankings. Weight distribution modifications to improve slow speed turning improved his confidence but he ended with a time of 1.43.839.
Livio Loi delivered a magnificent performance in the earlier Moto3 session, the Belgian teenager storming to a career best 11th on the grid. A stunning late charge of 1.48.639 rocketed him into 10th position in the final stages of a closely contested session.
Just when a richly deserved maiden top 10 grid position seemed secure, it took a brilliant last lap attack from current World Championship leader Luis Salom to push him back to 11th by just 0.263s.
Loi has immediately adapted to the iconic Brickyard track and is confident he can battle for a second points scoring finish in his rookie World Championship campaign in tomorrow’s 23-lap encounter.
Scott Redding #45: 1st – 1.43.026
“I was seventh in the final stages but I always knew I had the pace and wasn’t too worried. Each time I put in a new tyre I kept coming across a lot of traffic and on the last tyre I knew I was running out of time. Pol was following me and I definitely didn’t want to tow him round to a quicker time than me. I wanted to do my lap on my own so the only option I had was to ride through the pits. I was cutting it a bit fine because the pit lane is quite long here but I just got my head down and went for it and nailed a great lap. It is great to have pole position but it is going to be a very difficult race, especially for tyre endurance. I just need to try and finish in front of Pol to stop him from keep taking points off me. I need to lay the hammer down but a big part will be who can save the tyre the most.”
Mika Kallio #36 15th – 1.43.837
“I am pretty disappointed because the gap to Scott in pole position is not that big but the position is bad. Starting from 15th means it will be a tough race and to come from there into contention at the front is going to be very difficult. Hopefully we can find some improvements in the warm-up to be a few tenths better but to be honest I am not sure what we are missing. I feel good on the bike but while we can improve, everybody else also makes a jump and it is quite difficult to understand what we need to do to improve our package. Sometimes it is like this and we just need to focus on doing the best job we can tomorrow.”
Livio Loi #11: 11th – 1.48.639
“I am really happy because to get my best qualifying result and be so close to the top 10 is fantastic for my confidence and for the Marc VDS Racing Team. I was confident I could be strong in qualifying because this morning my pace was very consistent, so I knew on new tyres I could set a really good pace. The session was perfect and the best thing is I can run a fast pace consistently and this makes me very optimistic for the race. I am really looking forward to tomorrow now. Obviously my target is to finish inside the points but my grid position gives me a great opportunity to be with the best riders in Moto3 when I can learn and gain a lot of experience.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We have good memories of this track with Scott because it was here in 2010 he scored his first podium with us and today was a great performance. He left it quite late but he timed his attack to perfection and I am really happy. I think everybody expected Espargaro to take pole because last year here he was incredibly fast, but Scott made an amazing lap when the pressure was on and hopefully we can be in the same position at the end of the race tomorrow. It won’t be an easy race for Mika because the lap times are quite close and it is never an easy track to pass on with it being so dirty off line, but he has been aggressive all season in the early laps and I am looking forward to see him fight his way into a good position tomorrow. I am really pleased with Livio’s performance. He did a fantastic job and he has adapted really well to a very difficult track to learn. Being so high up the grid means he can gain some priceless experience from those in front of him and it would cap off a great weekend for him and his crew if he can finish in the points.”