Solid start for Marc VDS in Qatar
The Marc VDS Racing Team got their 2013 campaign off to a solid start in the first two free practice sessions in Qatar, with Scott Redding ending the day fourth fastest and Mika Kallio just 0.5s off his teammate’s time in eighth position.
As always in Qatar the first free practice session was held on a surface made slippery by sand blown onto the track, a situation made worse this year by the additional sand and dust raised by construction work on the perimeter of the Losail International Circuit.
Redding managed to master the tricky conditions quickly to finish the first 45-minute free practice session fourth fastest. The 20-year-old Briton was fourth once again in this evening’s second free practice, but improved his lap time to close to within 0.5s of the top of the timesheet.
In this evening’s second free practice session Kallio improved by almost one second, but dropped from seventh to eight position on the timesheet. A wheels in line style rider in previous seasons, Kallio impressed with his sideways style tonight on the dirty and slippery Losail track.
The Moto2 riders get one final 45-minute free practice session tomorrow evening, starting at 19.55 local time.
Scott Redding #45: 4th – 2’01.433
“The first session today was just about getting used to the bike and the track again, so it was good to be inside the top five on the timesheet. As the track cleaned up I was able to improve my lap time in the second session, but we’re still losing time in the final sector, like always. We need to look for an improvement there tomorrow but, other than that, the bike is working well and I’m happy enough with our first day’s work here in Qatar.”
Mika Kallio #36: 8th – 2’01.981
“My feeling with the bike here is good, on both of the tyre options we have available this weekend, so our package is competitive. The only issue is the gap to the front at the moment. We need to find some improvement tomorrow, to improve the feeling on corner entry so that I can carry more speed through the turn. If we can pick up a little time in each corner in this way then we should be able to reduce the gap to the front ahead of qualifying.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I’m happy enough to have both riders in the top ten at the end of the opening day here in Qatar, especially as Scott is just 0.5s off Takaaki Nakagami’s fastest time. We saw lap times improve across the board by almost a second, so we know the track surface is starting to clean up as more laps are completed. It’s still a little dirty offline, which is why we didn’t take any risks today, but as conditions continue to improve tomorrow then I’d expect to see both Scott and Mika close the gap to the top of the timesheet even further.”