Second row for Kallio as Redding struggles with lack of grip

Second row for Kallio as Redding struggles with lack of grip

A strong qualifying performance from Mika Kallio will see the Marc VDS rider start tomorrow’s Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix from fifth position on the second row of the grid. Scott Redding struggled for rear grip throughout this afternoon’s timed session and will start tomorrow from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying tenth today.

Kallio set his fastest time just three laps into the session on a used softer option rear tyre, despite losing time after running wide at the final turn. The 30-year-old Finn’s second exit was on the same compound tyre, but this time a new one. However, the additional grip caused the same issues with the bike as yesterday and he was unable to improve on his lap time.

Redding struggled to get the bike to hook up out of the turns from the start of qualifying and spent the first half of the 45-minute session outside the top 15. Changes to the set-up of the bike and a new rear tyre brought minor improvements, allowing the 20-year-old Briton to push his way into the top ten as the session came to a close. The championship leader will sit down with his crew tonight to find a solution to the grip issues, which he also experienced during yesterday’s opening free practice session.

Livio Loi will start tomorrow’s Malaysian Moto3 Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid, after qualifying 16th at Sepang this afternoon. It was one of the best qualifying performances of the season for the 16-year-old Belgian, as he finished the 40-minute session just 1.648s off the pole time of championship leader, Luis Salom, at one of the longest tracks on the Moto3 calendar.

Loi’s qualifying position at Sepang is his best since the Indianapolis Grand Prix back in August and puts him in a perfect position to achieve his goal of a points scoring finish in tomorrow’s 18-lap Moto3 race.

Mika Kallio #36 // 5th // 2’07.637
“Fifth on the grid was a good qualifying result for us today. I pushed immediately from the first lap and my fastest lap came just three laps into the session. There was definitely more to come, as I made a small mistake in the final corner and lost a couple of tenths on my fastest lap, although I doubt it would have changed my grid position. We ran both rear tyres this afternoon, and there was definitely a difference in grip between the two, but the softer option was still causing us some issues. We need to discuss tonight which tyre will be the best for the race, with the final decision to be made after warm up. If I can do tomorrow what I did in Aragon then anything is possible.”

Scott Redding #45 // 10th // 2’07.980 // @Reddingpower
“We just struggled with rear grip again this afternoon. I don’t know if it was the temperature or something else, but I couldn’t get the bike to hook up out of the turns. We need to try and find something for tomorrow, but we’ve been here before so I’m not too concerned. It wasn’t my worst qualifying this season, so we know we can come back from where we are. It’s going to be a long race for everyone and we know we’re not the only ones struggling for grip, so we’ll just see how it goes in the race tomorrow.”

Livio Loi #11 // 16th // 2’15.515 // @LivioLoi
“We made some changes to the bike for qualifying, which definitely gave some improvement, but I also modified slightly my riding style. The start of the session was half wet, half dry after the earlier rain, but I was able to run inside the top five while conditions were mixed. As the track dried I took the first of two new tyres, but it was only on the second that I really went all out for a quick time. My final lap looked to be faster, but I made a small mistake in sector three and lost all the time I’d made up. In Indianapolis I was 14th, so I’d like to improve on that by at least one place in the race tomorrow.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Mika did a good job today, wasting no time in qualifying and posting his quickest lap on a used rear tyre. He has some issues with the softer option rear, but only when it’s new, so we need to think about the choice of race tyre. If we get it right then there’s no reason why Mika shouldn’t be on the podium tomorrow. Scott had the same issues with a lack of rear grip this afternoon as he had yesterday, so we need to address this ahead of warm up tomorrow. Scott came back in Aragon from further back on the grid, and I’m confident he’ll do the same again tomorrow here in Malaysia. I’m pleased with Livio’s qualifying performance today. Sepang is one of the longest tracks we race at, so the 1.6s gap to the front here probably translates to around 1.1s elsewhere, which is closer than he’s been to pole position before. It bodes well for tomorrow’s race, which I’m confident he’ll finish in the points once again.”