Third row for Redding and Kallio after close Sachsenring qualifying
The Marc VDS duo of Scott Redding and Mika Kallio will line up together on the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s German Moto2 Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Redding finished in eighth position and Kallio ninth, in a tight qualifying session that saw the top 20 separated by just one second.
Redding struggled to find a good feeling with his Kalex Moto2 machine during the early part of today’s 45-minute qualifying session, but improvements through minor changes to the set up of the bike meant he headed out for his final run with confidence restored. The 20-year-old Briton looked all set to claim a position on the front row of the grid with his last flying lap, but lost vital tenths avoiding a slower rider and ended the session eighth.
Kallio headed out for qualifying looking for a top six starting position but, like his Marc VDS teammate, fell short of his target by the narrowest of margins. The 30-year-old Finn impressed with a string of consistently fast laps in qualifying, but just wasn’t able to find the final tenth of a second that would have seen him on the second row for tomorrow’s race.
Starting position is critical at Sachsenring, as the tight, right-hand, downhill turn one is notorious for first lap incidents. The 34-strong field arrives at high speed on the opening lap, and the temptation to go deep into the corner on the brakes to make up places is one that some riders find impossible to resist. With the chance of more than one rider out-braking himself into turn one, staying clear of trouble will be a priority for both Redding and Kallio tomorrow.
Livio Loi will start tomorrow’s 27-lap German Moto3 Grand Prix from the ninth row of the grid, after qualifying in 26th position at the Sachsenring this afternoon. The 16-year-old Belgian was aiming to qualify inside the top 20 today, but got held up through the final sector on his fastest lap and missed his target by just one tenth of a second. Despite his starting position Loi remains optimistic about tomorrow’s race, having lapped consistently in the 1’28s bracket throughout today’s practice and qualifying sessions with the bike in race trim.
Scott Redding #45: 8th – 1’24.963
“I was struggling a little at the beginning, but then we made some changes and the bike got better, then a few more changes brought more improvements and it started to come better again. Unfortunately I caught Gino Rea on my fastest lap. He was looking back and he saw me, but he didn’t move over let me through. Instead he stayed on the line, maybe looking to hook on for a tow, but going around him cost me maybe one or two tenths and disrupted my rhythm. We need to look again at the bike tonight, to find a little more consistency because it’s a long race and 29 laps around here is hard work. Today was my worst qualifying of the season so far, but if we can avoid any trouble in turn one on the opening lap, then we’ll see what we can do in the race.”
Mika Kallio #36: 9th – 1’24.990
“Top six was the target in qualifying today, but I just couldn’t seem to find the couple of extra tenths needed and missed out by the narrowest of margins. I’m not worried for the race, as I’ve been consistently quick in every session this weekend. What will be important tomorrow is avoiding any trouble in turn one on the opening lap and then managing the tyre in the first part of the race, because this track is hard on tyres, especially the left hand side of the rear. The track is also hard on the rider, as there isn’t really anywhere that you can take a breather. This means it’s important to stay relaxed on the bike or you wear yourself out well before the end. There are many things to think about in the race, but we will see how we handle it tomorrow.”
Livio Loi #11: 26th – 1’28.684
“It wasn’t a particularly good qualifying for me, but the biggest problem was my last run of the session. I got one fairly clear lap at the start and set my fastest time, despite getting held up a little in the final sector. On the second flying lap I made a mistake and that meant I started the third and final lap in a big group and it wasn’t possible to improve any further. So, I start from 26th position on the grid tomorrow, which isn’t ideal, but the times are very close. I need a good start tomorrow, and then it will just be a case of trying to pick up as many places as I can over the 27 laps of the race.”