Mika Kallio and Scott Redding secured two top ten finishes for the Marc VDS Racing Team in today’s Moto2 Grand Prix at Catalunya. Kallio battled his way through the field from 19th on the grid, to finish ninth, while Redding overcame problems with his throttle hand to finish tenth.
Kallio threw caution to the wind at the start, diving up the inside of the field on the entry to turn one to make up a handful of places in one go. The 29-year-old Finn then continued to pick up places on the opening lap and was quickly involved in what turned out to be the battle for fourth place.
A drop off in rear grip left Kallio able to match the lap times of the other riders in the group, but unable to mount a challenge to improve his position. The Marc VDS rider was eventually forced to settle for ninth position at the chequered flag.
Redding was involved in the battle for the lead in the early stages of the race, but dropped off the back of the leading group when his right hand went numb and made it difficult for the 19-year-old Briton to brake and open the throttle with any feeling. Redding dropped back to try and recover feeling in the hand, but no improvement was forthcoming and he was forced to defend tenth place to the finish.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will be back on track in two weeks, at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Scott Redding’s home race.
Mika Kallio #36: 9th Position
“After warm up this morning we made a few small changes to the front of the bike for the race. It was a bit of a risk, but we didn’t really have anything to lose starting from so far back on the grid. It turned out that we went in the right direction and straight away I was quicker than in qualifying yesterday. I got a good start and made up a lot of places into turn one and even more on the opening lap. I was battling in a group when the rear grip dropped off; it wasn’t severe and I was able to maintain my lap times, but I just didn’t have the drive out of the turns needed to set up a pass. In the end I finished ninth, which I’m not really happy with, but it was at least satisfactory after the problems yesterday and it was enough to retain sixth place in the championship.”
Scott Redding #45: 10th Position
“I felt good, the bike was good and I got away from the line okay, but then I started having problems with my throttle hand. When I was tucked in on the bike it started to go numb, as if something was pressing on a nerve somewhere. I let a couple of people through so that I could relax a bit and see if it improved, but it just wouldn’t go away. It meant I was struggling with feeling, both on the gas and on the brakes, which was losing me time in every corner. It’s disappointing because without this problem I know I could have been up there and battling at the front today.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Mika rode a hard race today, to fight his way up from the seventh row of the grid and finish inside the top ten. I have no doubt that, if he hadn’t had to use up his tyres fighting his way through the field in the opening laps, a top five finish was a possibility today. We need to work with Mika on his qualifying, as it’s costing him good results at the moment. Scott also looked strong in the early part of today’s race, but he started struggling with a numb right hand that cause problems for him on the brakes and with the throttle. He did well to defend tenth position until the end of the race. We need to find out exactly what caused the problem, as it’s not something Scott has experienced before.”