Redding storms to podium finish in his home race
Scott Redding gave the home crowd something to celebrate today by taking second place in a thrilling Moto2 race that was decided only in the final laps. Mika Kallio finished inside the top ten, after battling his way through the field from 18th position on the grid.
Redding was involved in the battle for the lead right from the start of today's 18-lap Moto2 race, forcing his way to the front on the second lap and then setting a blistering pace that his pursuers found difficult to maintain.
More importantly the 19-year-old Briton adopted a riding style specifically to conserve his tyres, knowing full well that maximum grip would be required for the challenge ahead.
Pol Espargaro managed to sneak through and pull out a lead, as Redding got involved in a battle with Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez. Iannone was soon dropped, leaving Redding and Marquez to battle it out for second place. Redding made his move early on the final lap, only for the lightweight Spaniard to take back the advantage on the straight, forcing the Marc VDS rider to put in an aggressive overtake on the brakes and then defend the position to the line.
Kallio managed to make up places from the start and was lying tenth at quarter race distance, but was unable to progress further when he started struggling for rear grip as the tyre went off. The 29-year-old Finn was disappointed, as he could see the battle for the lead in front of him, but just couldn't bridge the gap as the rear started spinning up out of the turns.
Scott Redding #45: 2nd Position
“The start of the race was a bit hectic, as both me and Bradley wanted to be the top Brit, so the battle at the front was, shall we say, a bit aggressive! All good fun though! Once I was through and into the lead I was able to find a good rhythm that was easy on the tyres but still fast enough to make it difficult for the riders chasing me. Eventually they caught me and as Espargaro went through, I got involved in a bit of a ding dong with Marquez and Iannone that held us all up a bit. I knew it was going to be a bit of a scrap with Marquez on the last lap and I wasn't wrong. I passed him early, he came back on the straight, so I stuck it up his inside on the brakes. He was struggling with the bike, but he still tried to come back at me in the final corner, but I was having none of it! It was a good, clean fight; a great result and I hope the crowd enjoyed it as much as I did! Thanks to Marc van der Straten, the team and everyone who was here to support us this weekend.”
Mika Kallio #36: 10th Position
“We swapped the forks out on the bike overnight and the feeling was much better today so there was obviously a problem, as we suspected. Unfortunately the damage had been done in qualifying and starting from 18th on the grid made things difficult in the race. I managed to battle my way through into the top ten and I thought I'd be able to latch onto the leading group, who weren't so far ahead, but then the rear tyre went off and I was struggling for grip. It was the same as in Barcelona, so it's definitely something we need to investigate. As a result my lap times went up by a second and it was all I could do to hold on to tenth place until the end.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Today we saw a different side of Scott. We know he's capable of riding on the ragged edge, as we've see this so often in the past, but today he also rode with his head. He hit the front early in the race and then rode as smoothly as he could to conserve his tyres. It was a good plan because it was the extra grip that allowed him to get the better of Marc Marquez on the final lap. It was a great race by Scott and a great result for the team. I hope the British crowd enjoyed is as much as I did! Mika also rode a good race, but was hampered by his qualifying position and a drop off in tyre performance. Both of these issues we need to address ahead of the next race at Assen.”