Top ten for Kallio in thrilling Estoril Moto2 race
Mika Kallio fought his way through the field to finish today's Portuguese Moto2 Grand Prix at Estoril inside the top ten. Scott Redding ran with the leading group in the early stages of the race, before deteriorating rear grip saw him drop down the field to eventually finish two places behind his Marc VDS teammate in 11th.
Kallio got a great start from the sixth row of the grid, making up six places on the opening lap alone. The 29-year-old Finn continued to pick off places as the race progressed, eventually tagging onto the battle for sixth position on lap eight. The Marc VDS rider tried to push his way through to the front of the group, but was thwarted by chatter issues as the fuel load lightened.
From half race distance Kallio, together with Alex De Angelis, was involved in an intense battle with former World Champions Toni Elias and Julian Simon, but dropped back on the final lap and had to settle for ninth place at the chequered flag.
Redding had problems from the start. Throttle response wasn't the same as it had been during practice and qualifying, causing problems on corner exit. As a result the Marc VDS rider initially lost touch with the leading group and then used up his rear tyre trying to re-establish contact.
The 19-year-old Briton fought on, but was gradually relegated to 11th position as rear grip continued to drop off as the race progressed.
Both Marc VDS riders will test for two days at Navarra ahead of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, which takes place in two weeks time.
Mika Kallio #36: 9th Position
“The start of the race went as planned. The bike felt good and I was able to make up places from the start, fighting my way up to the group battling for sixth place. Unfortunately, as the fuel load dropped I started to have the same problems we had in Qatar and Jerez with chatter. It meant I wasn't able to fight my way through the group to challenge for sixth position and had to settle for ninth at the flag. If we can identify why we have this issue, and find a solution, then I know we can be much stronger over race distance. I wouldn't say I'm happy with today's result, but I'm reasonably satisfied given the problems we've had this weekend.”
Scott Redding #45: 11th Position
“The bike didn't sound right on the grid and there was a flat spot from the start. It meant I couldn't pick the bike up out of the turns like I wanted, and it took a few laps to get used to it. I could see the leading group pulling away, but I just didn't have the rear grip on corner entry to stay with them. Every time I tried to push harder, the rear would come round on me and I'd lose ground. Then I had a big moment at turn six and realised that I wasn't going to be able to close the gap. It all went a bit downhill from there. I'm disappointed, but I need to look ahead now to Le Mans, where I hope we can be back where we should be.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Mika was aggressive from the off, making up two rows from the start and then continuing to fight his way forward for the first third of the race. He looked good for sixth place, but then chatter problems meant he didn't have anything left when De Angelis, Elias and Simon made their moves late on in the race. The chatter issue is something we'll be focussing on during our Navarra test next week. Scott had problems from the start, lost ground and then used up his tyre trying to regain the leading group. We need to look at the data to see what caused the flat spot in the power delivery, as it wasn't apparent during this morning's warm-up. To be honest I'm a little disappointed with the results today, as I feel we could have done a lot better.”