Second row start for Kallio in Jerez
Mika Kallio will start tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix from the second row of the grid, after qualifying the Marc VDS Racing Team's Kalex Moto2 machine in fifth position this afternoon. A crash during qualifying means that Scott Redding will start tomorrow's race from 12th position on the grid.
Kallio set the fastest time in yesterday's second free practice, which was held in mixed conditions, but struggled with a lack of front-end feel from his Kalex Moto2 machine during this morning's fully wet session. A change of forks for this qualifying transformed the bike, with Kallio immediately matching the pace of the fastest riders. The 29-year-old Finn posted the second quickest time halfway through qualifying, but was eventually pushed back to fifth by the end of the 45-minute session.
Redding got qualifying off to a flying start by topping the timesheet early in the session. The 19-year-old Briton continued to post consistently fast laps, but was pushed down the order as he struggled with a less than perfect set-up. While pushing to secure a front row start towards the end of qualifying, Redding clipped the white line at the ultra-fast Sito Pons corner and crashed uninjured. With the bike too damaged to continue the Marc VDS rider was forced to settle for 12th position and the fourth row of the grid for tomorrow's 26-lap race.
Livio Loi, who this season is backed by the Marc VDS Racing Team, finished his first ever Rookies race in the points. The Belgian rider, who celebrated his 15th birthday yesterday, fought this way through the field after a bad start to finish a creditable 13th, on a track he hadn't seen ahead of free practice yesterday. Loi will return to the track tomorrow for the second Rookies race, which he will start with the aim of breaking into the top ten.
Mika Kallio #36: 5th – 1'43.367
“We received some new front forks for this race, but the feeling wasn't so good with them especially in the wet. We persevered, but after making no progress we switched back to the forks we used during preseason testing for qualifying. The improvement was immediate. This afternoon I was able to put in the lap times on my own, without following anyone, so I know I have the pace for tomorrow's race. Yes, it would have been nice to start from the front row of the grid tomorrow but there are just tenths in it, so starting the race from the second row isn't going to make any difference to the outcome.”
Scott Redding #45: 12th – 1'44.144
“Well, that didn’t' quite go according to plan! I started well, but as the pace increased I was struggling more and more to get the bike to hold a line. Heading into turn five on a fast lap the bike just drifted onto the slippery white line and the front got away from me. I managed to save it and pick it up, but by then I was in the gravel and heading straight for the wall, so jumping off seemed the safest option. Everyone is talking about the weather tomorrow, but I don't really care. Rain or shine, it's all the same to me, I just need to push from the start and try and make up places like I did in Qatar two weeks ago.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Mika did a great job today. It was the first time on dry track for everyone this afternoon in qualifying, so Mika and his crew did well to get the bike dialled in so quickly. If the weather is the same tomorrow then I'm confident he has the pace to run at the front. Scott was unlucky in qualifying. He just touched a white line that was still a bit wet from the brief shower we had ahead of qualifying and down he went. Starting from the fourth row of the grid won't be easy, but he showed in Qatar he's capable of fighting his way through the field and I expect he will do exactly the same tomorrow.”