Third row for Redding at Mugello
Scott Redding will start the Italian Moto2 Grand Prix from the third row of the grid, after a difficult qualifying session this afternoon at Mugello. Mika Kallio will start tomorrow from 22nd position, after crashing out of qualifying at the halfway point.
After making a solid start to the weekend yesterday, Redding struggled to find a good rhythm in this afternoon's 45-minute qualifying session. The 19-year-old Briton couldn't find a good feeling with the bike in today's hotter conditions, and was constantly losing ground on his rivals accelerating out of the slower turns and the many inclines here at Mugello.
Redding managed to salvage a place on the third row of the grid by posting the eighth fastest time right at the end of the session, but will start from seventh tomorrow following a 15-place penalty for third place qualifier, Johann Zarco.
Kallio used the first part of this afternoon's qualifying session to evaluate the harder option front tyres on his Kalex Moto2 machine, with a view to using these in the race tomorrow. The 29-year-old Finn was confident of securing a grid position on the front two rows, until he lost the front exiting turn one and crashed out of the session.
The Marc VDS rider's mechanics worked hard to repair the bike and get their rider back out on track but ran out of time, leaving Kallio down in 22nd position on the timesheet as the session came to an end.
Despite a difficult qualifying session, both riders remain confident they can fight for a top ten position in tomorrow's 21-lap race.
Scott Redding #45: 8th – 1'53.059
“Qualifying was disappointing today. I just couldn’t seem to find a good rhythm on the bike, the harder I pushed the slower I went and it was difficult to understand why. Right at the end I managed to get myself into a fast group, but even then I was losing two or three bike lengths out of every slow corner, or whenever the track went uphill. We need to have a think tonight about how we can improve, because I think the race will be in very similar conditions tomorrow. The good news is that the third row isn't too bad and I'm still confident we can leave here with a reasonable result.”
Mika Kallio #36: 22nd – 1'53.984
“We made a few set-up changes this morning, but they didn't really offer the improvements we expected. We switched back to the previous settings for qualifying and all was going quite well; the feeling was back with the bike. This afternoon we also ran the harder front tyre, to see if it was a viable option for the race. Unfortunately, just as I started to up the pace I lost the front while accelerating out of the first turn and down I went. My crew did their best to repair the bike, but we simply ran out of time. 22nd on the grid isn't where we wanted to be, but our race pace is good and we have a plan that we know can work, as it's not the first time this season we've started from so far back.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I expected both of our riders to be on the front two rows of the grid here at Mugello, but it didn't happen for a number of reasons. Scott struggled with the bike in qualifying and didn't have the confidence to push hard for a fast lap. We need to find out why and make sure we rectify the situation ahead of the race tomorrow. Mika was a little unlucky and got caught out on a hard front tyre at turn one. It was a small error, but with big consequences, as it meant he missed the opportunity to put in a fast lap in qualifying. We've been in this position before, and come away with reasonable results, so I remain confident both riders can finish inside the top ten tomorrow.”