MARC VDS READY TO RACE AFTER SUCCESSFUL FINAL TEST
Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are all set for the first race of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship season in Qatar, after successfully completing the final preseason test at a wet and very cold Jerez circuit.
After managing very few laps on the opening day of testing due to hailstones and rain at the Jerez circuit, both Marc VDS riders were keen to complete as many laps as possible in the dry but cold conditions on day two.
Redding took advantage of the dry conditions to further refine the set up of his Suter MMXI, managing to complete most of his planned test schedule before losing the front at the ultra-fast turn seven late in the afternoon session.
For Kallio it was a particularly frustrating day. On his first exit from pit lane he crashed on water dropped by Alex De Angelis, resulting in a four-hour wait as his crew worked to repair his extensively damaged bike. Despite the problems the Finn proved his transition to Moto2 has been a successful one, by going on to finish the afternoon session fourth fastest overall. Kallio completed only a handful of laps on the final day before opting to sit out the remainder of the test due to pain from his right thumb, which he injured in the crash yesterday and had swelled to twice its normal size overnight.
Redding used the final day of testing to improve his feeling with the front end of the bike, making significant improvements to his lap time as his confidence returned. The British rider looked set to break back into the top five on the timesheet, but was thwarted by the return of the rain that has caused so many disruptions to the winter testing schedule this year.
Scott Redding #45: 1'43.5
"The story so far this season has been all about the weather, with every test we've done disrupted to some extent by rain and high winds. We had hailstones and rain here on the first day, which meant we only did ten laps in less than ideal conditions. The second and third days were better, but I've been struggling to get a good feeling from the front of the bike and I got caught out yesterday afternoon when the front let go with no warning at turn seven. Today was probably the best of the three days in terms of weather and we managed to make quite a few improvements to the front of the bike. Once the confidence was back then the lap times came quite easily but, if I'm completely honest, I've had enough of testing now. The first race in Qatar can't come soon enough for me, I just want to be back out there banging fairings again, instead of turning laps in conditions that make worthwhile testing almost impossible. It's not long now and I can't wait."
I'm looking forward to the first race in Qatar with some confidence now.
Mika Kallio #36: 1'44.0
"We knew that doing an extra test at Jerez last week was important, but we didn't realise just how critical it would prove to be until we came here for the final test. The first day was washout with the weather and then, on the second, I crashed on my first exit after another rider dumped water on the track. We lost time repairing the bike, which was quite badly damaged, but bounced back to break into the top five on the timesheet by the end of the day. I banged my right thumb quite hard in the crash and it had swollen to twice its normal size this morning. It's not serious, but it was quite painful on the bike and it made it difficult to control the throttle. More kilometres on the bike would have been useful, but we know from the test in Jerez last week that we have the pace we need, and I'm looking forward to the first race in Qatar with some confidence now."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"Hailstones, rain and a big crash meant that Mika didn't cover as many kilometres as he was hoping for during this final test. Fortunately he found a good set up during last week's outing at Jerez and, as he showed yesterday by breaking into the top five on the timesheet, he has adapted well to our Moto2 bike. Scott has struggled so far to find a front-end set up he's happy with and yesterday's crash knocked his confidence a little. His feeling, and his confidence, improved with some changes to the set up today, and I'm sure he would have finished closer to the top of the timesheet had the weather not closed in again in the afternoon. We are ready for Qatar, with both of our riders confident that they have the pace to challenge for race wins from the start."
-source: Marc VDS Moto2