Solid start in Qatar for MarcVDS Racing Team
The Marc VDS Racing Team made a solid start to the opening round of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship in Qatar today, with Scott Redding finishing fifth fastest and Mika Kallio just one place further back in sixth.
More important than position was the fact that both Marc VDS riders finished this evening's two 45-minute free practice sessions just half a second off the fastest time, which was set by former 125cc World Champion, Thomas Lüthi.
Both Marc VDS riders overcame problems today, with Redding having to change the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine to overcome front-end chatter and Kallio missing a pit exit in the second session after an electrical problem with the bike.
Redding and Kallio are confident of finding further improvements in tomorrow's final free practice session, ready for Saturday's all-important first qualifying session of the new season.
Scott Redding #45: 5th – 2'01.336
“Overall it's been a good day. The first session was a bit hard because I managed to pick up a cold on the flight over and I found it difficult to breathe properly. The second session was much better and we could focus on finding a solution to the front chatter we experienced. We still need to do some more work on this tomorrow, but it's not a big problem. I'm happy with the lap time today and I'm confident we can close the gap even further tomorrow. I was looking for top six on day one and we've achieved that, now we need to do the same in tomorrow.”
Mika Kallio #36: 6th – 2'01.360
“We had a good start to the weekend and we're pretty much where we expected to be position wise. We're just over half a second off the fastest lap, but I'm confident there is more to come tomorrow. We had a problem with the bike in the second session, which cost me one pit exit, but I still managed to improve my time on my last run, so we didn't lose out too much. It was a good day and a solid start to our first race weekend, which is what we wanted here.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Qatar hasn't been particularly good to us in recent years, so it's good to put that behind us with two solid performances in the practice sessions today. Both Scott and Mika were consistent throughout free practice, and their fast laps came towards the end of each session on the same tyre with which they started. We have achieved our aim today, but tomorrow we must do the same and then on Saturday we need to qualify both riders on the first two rows of the grid. It will be a challenge, as the lap times at the top are close, but I think it's a realistic goal.”