REDDING SECOND AS RAIN DISRUPTS PHILLIP ISLAND SCHEDULE Scott Redding ended today's delayed opening practice session in Australia second fastest, with Marc VDS teammate, Hector Faubel, 18th on the timesheet, after struggling in the cold and...
REDDING SECOND AS RAIN DISRUPTS PHILLIP ISLAND SCHEDULE
Scott Redding ended today's delayed opening practice session in Australia second fastest, with Marc VDS teammate, Hector Faubel, 18th on the timesheet, after struggling in the cold and windy conditions at Phillip Island.
Free practice for all three Grand Prix classes was delayed for two hours this afternoon, as the torrential rain and high winds that hit Phillip Island this morning caused flooding on parts of the circuit.
Redding started the delayed session on wet tyres, but switched to slicks after just four laps as the damp track started to dry out. The Marc VDS rider increased his pace with every lap, eventually claiming the top spot on the timesheet with just three minutes of the session remaining. His next lap extended the margin over Alex De Angelis in second place to almost half a second, but the Sammarinese rider struck back right at the end of the session, setting the fastest lap and pushing Redding back to second.
Faubel struggled to get his Suter MMX machine to turn into the faster corners this afternoon, a problem exacerbated by the unpredictable winds blowing around the Phillip Island circuit. Damp patches on track, which were still evident at the end of the session, meant grip was also unpredictable. Faubel's crew will make changes to the set-up of his bike overnight and the 27-year-old Spaniard is confident of improving his position in tomorrow morning's second free practice session.
Scott Redding #45: 2nd - 1'36.313
"Conditions weren't ideal today, but it was a pretty good session overall. We did two long runs and got faster with each lap, despite issues with the weather and the traffic on track. The wind was a real problem everywhere on the circuit, but especially the first four turns. Coming down the straight I hardly had to brake for Doohan Corner, as just sitting up in the wind was enough to slow you down. It was hard to get the bike into turn four as well, because the wind was getting under the front of the bike and lifting you back up. But, it was the same for everyone and it didn't seem to cause us too many problems. We'll make a few small changes to the bike overnight but, overall, I'm pretty happy with how things have gone today."
Hector Faubel #55: 18th - 1'38.344
"Today was very difficult because of the conditions. We started on a damp track, which dried out as the session progressed, but there were still puddles in places even right at the end. It made grip a bit unpredictable. I also had some problems on corner entry with the front-end; the bike didn't want to turn in and then ran out wide as soon as you got on the gas. We'll take a look at the data and see how we can improve the bike for tomorrow's sessions, which I hope will be either fully wet or fully dry and not a bit of everything like we had today."
Pete Benson: Scott Redding's Crew Chief
"Scott rode a good session this afternoon. After four laps on full wets to assess the available grip, we switched to a dry set-up on the bike, fitted slicks and sent him back out for another run. He built his pace over two long runs, but ran out of laps as he tried to respond to Alex De Angelis' fastest lap at the end of the session. The bumps at certain parts of the track were a bit of a problem for Scott today, so we'll make some small suspension changes tonight to smooth these out, as well as altering the gearing to better suit some corners."
-source: marc vds