Solid start for Redding and Kallio at Misano
The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Moto2 riders got their Misano weekend off to a solid start, with Scott Redding ending the day fourth on combined times and Mika Kallio bouncing back after mechanical issues to finish eighth.
The Silverstone Union Flag livery was gone from Redding’s Kalex Moto2 machine this morning, but the form remained, with the Moto2 championship leader finishing the opening practice session comfortably inside the top five. The 20-year-old Briton improved again on his lap time this afternoon, to end the day fourth on combined times and confident going into tomorrow’s final free practice session.
A mechanical issue with his Kalex Moto2 machine left Kallio languishing down in 18th position after this morning’s opening practice. With the mechanical issue rectified, the 30-year-old Finn initially struggled with a lack of rear traction early on in this afternoon’s practice session. A switch to a new rear tyre from Dunlop made a big difference, with Kallio immediately improving his lap time by more than one second, eventually finishing the opening day eighth on the combined timesheet.
Livio Loi made a steady start to his Misano weekend, finishing the opening day 25th on the timesheet but confident of improvement ahead of qualifying tomorrow. The 16-year-old Belgian struggled with the bumpy nature of the Misano circuit this morning, but a change to the set-up of his Kalex-KTM ahead of this afternoon’s 40-minute session saw his confidence renewed and an improvement of almost one second in his lap time.
Scott Redding #45: 4th – 1’38.657
“Today was okay. We ran with the same tyres in both practice sessions today and the lap times were consistent. I struggled a little bit with front-end feel, nothing big, but it felt like I was pushing the front just a bit too much today. But the times were consistent, with my fastest lap coming at the end; even though the front tyre had done something like 42 laps, which is double the number we’d normally run a front tyre for. We’ve got a few things to try on the bike tomorrow but, overall, I’m happy with today.”
Mika Kallio #36: 8th – 1’38.774
“We lost this morning’s session to a problem with the rear shock mount, which meant the bike felt completely different to how it was in Vallelunga earlier this week. This afternoon, with the problem fixed, we started with the same tyre option front and rear, but the rear grip level was quite low. I was pushing hard, feeling like I was on the limit, but the lap times wouldn’t come. Our plan was to test the new tyre from Dunlop on the last exit, so we made the switch with about ten minutes to go and the difference was unbelievable. On the second lap I was already one second faster but then we didn’t have time to make adjustments to the bike to take advantage of the increased grip. Tomorrow we have some more changes to try, but there are also a couple of places I think I can make up the four or five tenths we were missing today.”
Livio Loi #11: 25th – 1’45.489
“This morning my first two exits were okay, but we tried something on the bike for the final run, to reduce the amount of movement over the bumps, but it didn’t really work. We made a few more set-up changes this afternoon, altering the feeling of the bike, which meant the first two pit exits were spent adapting to the new set-up. On my third exit the feeling was again good and, with a new tyre, I was able to make big improvements to my time on every lap. Unfortunately I got into turn seven a little too hot and crashed on the brakes, which wasn’t ideal, but I’m happy overall with our progress. Now we need to continue in the same way tomorrow, ready for qualifying.”
Stefan Prein: Rider Coach
“This morning on his first and second exit Livio was improving, but then he couldn’t bring everything together for his third and final run. This afternoon the team made the bike stiffer in the frame, giving Livio more confidence over the bumps, and he took almost a second off his lap time as a result. He was trying some gearing and line options late in the session when he crashed without injury at turn seven, but it was a satisfactory practice overall. However, we shouldn’t forget we’re only 25th, which isn’t where we should be, so we need to pull everything together in FP3 tomorrow, with 1’44 high being Livio’s target lap time.”