Redding tops the timesheet on opening day in Germany
It was Scott Redding’s name at the top of the timesheet, with Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, just three tenths back in fifth, after the opening day of practice ahead of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
It was Redding and Pol Espargaro – first and second in the Moto2 championship standings – who set the pace this morning, with the Spaniard taking the honours by just 0.095s at the end of the 45-minute session. The two championship rivals were at it again this afternoon, but this time it was Redding who dipped below the current lap record to claim the top spot, with eventually Espargaro relegated to third by Alex De Angelis.
Mika Kallio completed race distance runs on the harder option front and rear tyres in both free practice sessions today, before tweaking the rear suspension settings and switching to the softer option Dunlop slicks for his final run this afternoon. The improvement was immediate, with the 30-year-old Finn going half a second faster to claim fifth position on the provisional grid.
At just 3.6km in length the Sachsenring is the shortest circuit on the Moto2 calendar, which meant that times were closer than ever in the hotly contested Moto2 class. Just half a second separated Nico Terol in 13th from Redding in first.
Livio Loi made a solid start to his German Grand Prix weekend at the Sachsenring. The 16-year-old Belgian finished this morning’s opening Moto3 free practice session in 20th position, but improved his lap time by almost a second this afternoon to move up to 16th on the timesheet.
Scott Redding #45: 1st – 1’25.152
“I was pretty happy with the bike set-up this morning, so we only changed a few minor things for this afternoon’s session. I had a good feeling with the bike, so I spent some time on the harder option front tyre, as we’re not sure the softer option will be the best choice for the race here. I wasn’t really pushing for a lap, but instead working to get a good feeling with the bike for the race. With less traffic this afternoon I could maybe have strung some laps together and taken a few more tenths off my time, but my only clean lap came right at the end when I set my fastest time. It’s always good to be on the pace from the start of the weekend, so it’s been a pretty good day overall.”
Mika Kallio #36: 5th – 1’25.458
“We came here with a plan for free practice, and I’m happy to say it seems to have worked well. This morning we used just one set of the harder option tyres, on which I did a lot of laps. I was pretty happy with the consistency of my lap times, even if the position wasn’t so good. This afternoon we started again on the harder option tyres, running near race distance on my first exit, before switching to the softer option front and rear towards the end of the session. We also made a small change to the rear suspension, which improved traction on the rear. Here at the Sachsenring you’re opening the gas almost full, still with a lot of lean angle, so this change made for a big improvement. Tomorrow morning we will run on the softer option tyres, to see which is our preferred option for qualifying and the race.”
Livio Loi #11: 16th – 1’28.992
“I had two good practice sessions today and I think we’re back in the line now. I was able to improve my lap time with each exit to run inside the top ten during the early part of this afternoon’s session, but missed out a little when we opted to try the softer option tyre on my last run. For me it didn’t work as well as the harder tyre, so I was unable to improve my lap time and dropped down the order as others went faster. But it’s all looking good for tomorrow.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Overall it’s been a good day for the Marc VDS Racing Team here at the Sachsenring. Scott has been on lap record pace from the first free practice, ending the opening day at the top of the timesheet and ahead of his main championship rival. Mika was consistently quick over near race distance on the harder option tyres, while a slight change in set-up meant he was then able to go half a second faster on the softer tyres this afternoon. If Scott and Mika can continue in the same way tomorrow then there’s a good chance we could see both of them qualify on the front row of the grid. Livio had two solid sessions today, lapping consistently and rebuilding his confidence in the bike after two difficult races. He is confident of further improvements tomorrow, but he also needs to remain realistic with his goals for both qualifying and the race. If he can qualify top 20 and finish in the points on Sunday, then we’ll be happy.”