Third row for Redding at weather hit Aragon
Scott Redding posted the ninth fastest time during qualifying at the Motorland Aragon circuit to secure a place on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's 21-lap race, while Mika Kallio will start from one row further back in 12th position.
With all three free practices run in wet conditions at the Aragon circuit, this afternoon's 45-minute qualifying was the first time this weekend that the Moto2 riders took to the track in fully dry conditions. However, with black clouds surrounding the circuit and the threat of rain ever present, most opted to push for a fast lap from the start, rather than working a dry set-up.
Scott Redding was quick from the off, advancing up the timesheet with each lap during his first run. In the dry conditions the 19-year-old Briton suffered a little more pain from his right wrist, on which he had surgery less than two weeks ago, but was adamant that it wasn't a handicap on the bike. Redding, who eventually finished the session ninth quickest and just 0.5s off the pole position time of Simone Corsi, remains confident of battling for a top five finish in tomorrow's race.
Mika Kallio was disappointed not to qualify on the front three rows of the grid this afternoon. The 29-year-old Finn finished the session 12th fastest, and less than 0.3s behind his Marc VDS teammate, but looked all set to qualifying higher until he had a near highside on his final flying lap. Kallio is confident that, if he can get a good start and avoid the inevitable melee in the first turn, a top five finish is a realistic goal in tomorrow's race.
Scott Redding #45: 9th – 1'54.925
“The wrist made it a bit more difficult on the bike today, especially braking in the downhill sections, but it wasn't really a problem. It's certainly not a concern for the race tomorrow and, anyway, the adrenaline tends to pump a bit more then than in qualifying. The qualifying session went pretty well, despite the lack of dry track time this weekend. I was able to put in some quick laps at the start, but track conditions weren't ideal and a lot of people crashed as a result. I could probably have gone quicker, but I was already having to hold the bike up on my knee through turn two, so I didn't want to push too much and risk a big crash. Nobody really has a good dry set-up, so it will be a tough race tomorrow, but we'll just have to see how we go.”
Mika Kallio #36: 12th – 1'55.224
“I wish we could do qualifying all over again but, unfortunately, it's not possible and we are where we are. I'm disappointed, because we know from past experience that a fourth row start makes an already difficult race even tougher. I struggled to put together a really quick time in qualifying and I almost highsided myself on my fastest lap. The base is definitely there, and we have the pace for the race, but my qualifying position will make things difficult once again. If I can get a good start and survive the first turn without incident then I should be able to pick up places in the opening few laps and, hopefully, make contact with the leading group before they manage to pull too much of a gap. That's the plan anyway, now let's hope it works.”
Stefan Prein: Rider Coach
“Scott did a good job today in qualifying. You could see on track that the hand was painful, as he was using his body and his legs a lot more to control the bike, rather than pushing on the handlebars with his right hand. It worked and it means he won't stress his injured hand so much during the race, in which I expect him to be battling for a top five finish. Mika also has good race pace, but is losing around 0.3s in the third sector every lap. It's impossible to see why on track, but we should be able to identify the issue using the data, which will allow us to come up with a solution ahead of warm up. A good start tomorrow is all Mika needs if he is to be up there with Scott and running top five in the race.”