Tough task ahead for Redding and Kallio
Scott Redding will start tomorrow's Moto2 race at Assen from the third row of the grid, after qualifying in seventh position this afternoon. Mika Kallio will start from one row further back, after posting the 12th fastest time during today's 45-minute qualifying session.
Having looked strong during all three practice sessions, Redding struggled to turn the bike during qualifying, but it was slower riders on track that proved the biggest problem. After a crash yesterday with a cruising Toni Elias, Redding was wary whenever he came across a rider waiting for a tow on the outside of the track. The 19-year-old Briton only backed off slightly each time, but in such a closely contested class as Moto2, it was enough to stop him qualifying any higher than seventh.
Kallio posted a quick lap right at the start of qualifying, but was struggling to improve on this time as the 45-minute session progressed. The 29-year-old Finn was pushing hard, but the lap times just didn't seem to come. Right at the end of the session a more relaxed Kallio looked set to jump onto the second row of the grid, but then ran into a group of slower riders at the chicane and lost time as a result.
Both Marc VDS riders are confident that they have a good race set-up and, if they can get a good start, are more than capable of securing a good result in tomorrow's 24-lap race.
Scott Redding #45: 7th – 1'38.401
“I just didn't have the feeling I needed from the front of the bike to push hard for a fast lap today, and I was still a little distracted by riders on the outside of the track after yesterday's crash. When I came up behind slower riders I was backing off ever so slightly because I was wary of them turning across my front. When I was pushing I was having problems with the front; the bike just didn't want to turn. When I forced it into the corners then the front was pushing real hard and forcing me wide on the exit. Starting from the third row isn't the end of the world, but we need to find a lot of time tonight and during warm up if we are to challenge the likes of Marquez and Espargaro in the race tomorrow.”
Mika Kallio #36: 12th – 1'38.525
“I am a little disappointed with qualifying, as a second row grid position was possible today. The bike was working okay, but during the middle part of the session I think I was just trying to push too hard. With the Kalex you need to be relaxed on the bike for a quick lap, but I was pushing too hard and when you do that the lap times don’t come. Right at the end of the session I managed to find a good rhythm and was on a real flying lap, but then I ran into a lot of traffic at the final chicane and had to back off when a slower rider moved across in front of me. It didn't lose me much in terms of time, but it was enough to stop me achieving my aim of qualifying on the front two rows. We have good pace here, so if I can get a good start tomorrow then I should be able to stay in contact with the leading group. A good result is definitely still possible.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Both riders had problems with traffic today. Mika lost out on his best lap when he came across a group of slower riders on the narrowest part of the track while Scott, after his crash with Toni Elias yesterday, allowed the slower riders on track to distract him during qualifying. We had good pace today, although it seems like Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez had a little bit more in hand during qualifying. It remains to be seen if they can maintain the same pace over a 24-lap race, but Scott and Mika need to make sure they are in contact with the leaders from the start and then take their chances when they can. I know they will push to the maximum, as always, and I'm confident we can secure two good results here tomorrow.”