Top five the target for Redding and Kallio in Jerez
The Marc VDS Racing Team return to Jerez this weekend, the scene of two extremely successful preseason tests for both Scott Redding and Mike Kallio and the venue for the second round of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship.
Redding and Kallio got their championship campaign off to a solid start two weeks ago in Qatar with Redding finishing sixth and Kallio tenth, after both fought their way through the field from the fifth row of the grid.
It is this momentum that the Marc VDS riders are looking to carry into Jerez, where they are both targeting a top five finish at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Both Marc VDS riders have enjoyed success at the Jerez circuit in the past. Kallio took the race win in the 250cc class in 2008 to add to his 125cc podium finish at the same circuit three years earlier. While the Jerez podium has so far eluded Redding, the British rider was fourth in the 2009 Spanish 125cc Grand Prix and has topped the timesheet at two of the last three tests at the circuit.
Situated in southwest Spain on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, the Jerez circuit has a complex layout, offering riders a real challenge. It boasts 13 turns over its 4.42km distance, with a combination of slow technical corners and fast sweeping turns making stability under braking and a good feeling from the front tyre critical when it comes to bike set-up.
Scott Redding #45:
“I went to Qatar looking for a top six finish, which I managed, so I'm pretty confident I can aim for the same or better this weekend. I suspect it will be tougher than in Qatar though. With the amount of testing we do at Jerez it's like everyone's home track, so I think the times at the front will be closer than ever. I had some chatter problems during preseason testing there, but we found a few things in Qatar that should help reduce this. I was pretty fast at both preseason tests and my times for the race simulations were consistent, so I'm fairly confident that a top five or six finish is a realistic goal this weekend.”
Mika Kallio #36:
“I think everyone was a little disappointed with Qatar; the result wasn't what we were expecting and we had quite a few problems over the course of the weekend. But we need to forget Qatar now and focus on this weekend's race. I was fourth fastest at the final preseason test at Jerez, so we know we have a good base set-up with which to start free practice on Friday. If I can qualify on the first two rows and then get away with the leading group in the race, then I think a top five finish should be well within our capabilities, or maybe even a podium. We will see.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We had our best start to the season for three years in Qatar, but that fact is tempered by the knowledge that with a better qualifying performance from Scott and Mika we could have finished the race even higher. Moto2 is such a competitive class that you can't afford to give your rivals even a small advantage, so qualifying is just one area we'll be focussing closely on this weekend in Jerez. We know we have a good set up for this track, where Scott and Mika were both fast and consistent during testing, so I hope to see them up at the sharp end in the race and battling for the top five finish they're both more than capable of.”