Redding wins as Marc VDS go one-two at Le Mans
Scott Redding secured his first win in the Moto2 World Championship with an impressive ride to victory in today’s French Moto2 Grand Prix, which was ended prematurely by the onset of heavy rain. Redding was joined on the podium by his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, who made it a perfect day for the team with a second place finish in the race.
Redding’s victory, the first by an English rider in the intermediate class since Alan Carter’s win in Le Mans exactly 30 years ago, saw the 20-year-old Briton retake the lead in the championship standings with a 24-point advantage over Tito Rabat who, along with his Pons teammate Pol Espargaro, crashed out of today’s race in the difficult conditions.
Kallio’s second place saw the 30-year-old Finn promoted back to third place in the championship standings, just five points behind Rabat and 29 points off the top spot.
Redding lost ground at the start but, together with teammate Kallio, quickly fought his way back into the top five, as the tricky mixed conditions claimed a number of victims in the early stages of the race. The two Marc VDS riders eventually forced their way to the front, with Redding taking the lead and Kallio squeezing past Xavier Simeon into second place. And that’s how it ended, as the red flag was brought out with three laps to go due to heavy rain falling on what had been declared a dry race.
In today’s Moto3 race Livio Loi missed out on another points scoring finish by the narrowest of margins, crossing the line in 16th position at the end of the 24-lap race. Wild card rider Jules Danilo’s Grand Prix debut ended in disappointment, as the 18-year-old Frenchman crashed out of the race after losing the front at the Dunlop Chicane on lap 14.
Scott Redding #45: 1st
“It’s an amazing feeling to have taken the win today, in what were very difficult conditions. It’s a fitting reward for the team, who have all worked so hard for this win and, to them, I have to say a big thank you. I also owe a lot to Marc van der Straten for his support, so it was great that we had the chance to stand together on the top step of the podium today. The win also puts me back on the top of the championship standings, but this time with a bit more of an advantage, so I’m happy with that. Now we go to Mugello, where I’ll definitely be looking for more of the same!”
Mika Kallio #36: 2nd
“We went with a slightly different setting today and that, combined with the weather conditions, meant I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the race. But the plan was the same as Jerez; to make up as many places in the first few laps by being aggressive and, once again, it worked. I got held up by Domi Aegerter and Xavier Simeon at one point, as both are difficult to pass, but I pushed through into second because there was a good chance the rain would bring out the red flag, which is exactly what happened. It’s a good result for me and it was good for the team to have two riders on the podium today. Now we need to focus on Mugello, and making sure we have the bike set-up right for the first practice session.”
Livio Loi #11: 16th
“I’m a little disappointed to finish outside the points today, but I was losing out on the straights on every lap. I don’t know if there is an issue with the engine, but every time we hit the straights four riders would just drive straight past me. I was pushing hard to make up the lost positions in the corners, but it just wasn’t possible.”
Jules Danilo #95: DNF
“Obviously I’m disappointed that my Grand Prix debut ended this way, in the gravel trap, but up until that point I was having a good race and I was putting in some good times. I got caught out on the entry to the Dunlop chicane, as Toni Finsterbusch braked earlier than I was expecting. I went to pass him on the outside, but hit a damp patch and lost the front. I’d like to say thank you to the Marc VDS Racing Team for their support here in Le Mans, and I look forward to joining them again at the Sachsenring.”
Marc van der Straten: President, Marc VDS Racing Team
“Congratulations to Scott, to Mika and to the whole team on a fantastic result here in Le Mans. It doesn’t get any better than a one-two finish! To stand on the podium with both of our Moto2 riders was a real pleasure for me, especially as we were joined by my fellow countryman, Xavier Simeon, who finished third on Scott Redding’s bike from last season. With our riders taking first and second, and Xavier on the podium in third, it’s been a very good day for Belgium here at Le Mans.”