The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding took a solid sixth place finish in tonight’s Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening round of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship, with Mika Kallio just four places further back in tenth.
Redding started tonight’s 20-lap race from 13th position on the grid, after a difficult qualifying session yesterday, but immediately set about making up places from the start. The Marc VDS rider maintained a consistent pace through the early stages, picking up places on every lap and eventually joining the group battling for the lead.
Unable to close on the leading trio, Redding was involved in an intense battle with Di Meglio and Corsi for sixth place during the closing stages, eventually getting the better of his rivals to claim a creditable sixth place at the chequered flag.
Kallio started one place behind his Marc VDS teammate after struggling to make up for time lost to a mechanical problem during Friday’s final free practice session. The 31-year-old Finn struggled to overcome front-end chatter issues from the start, but managed to make up places as the race progressed. A final push in the closing stages saw the Marc VDS rider take tenth place, a position he held to the finish line.
The Marc VDS Racing Team now have a two week break before the next round of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship in Jerez, which kicks off with free practice on Friday 27th April.
Scott Redding #45: 6th Position
“That was a hard race, which was made harder by starting so far back on the grid. I made up as many places as I could on the opening lap then got my head down and just picked people off as they appeared in front of me. I got held up a bit behind Smith, who was pushing hard, which meant I’d run out of tyre when I eventually made it onto the back of the leading group. I had a good battle with Corsi and Di Meglio, but kept a bit in hand so I could pass them before the finish. I enjoyed the race, but it just shows how different things could have been if we’d qualified better yesterday.”
Mika Kallio #36: 10th Position
“I didn’t get the good start I was looking for and immediately I had a problem with front-end chatter. I tried to adapt my riding style to counter this, but pushing aggressively or riding more smoothly didn’t really make any difference. It got worse as the race went on and, even though I wasn’t pushing that hard, it felt like I was on the limit. In the end tenth was the best I could do, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. We came here with high expectations, which we didn’t manage to achieve. Now we must look to Jerez, for where we know after testing that we have a good set-up for the bike.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Starting from the fifth row of the grid was always going to make it tough for Scott and Mika tonight, but they fought hard for position in the race and both did well to break into the top ten here. Scott played it perfectly, progressing through the field quickly to join the back of the leading group. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to fight his way through to the front, but sixth place is the best start he’s made to a season in Moto2, so we’re pretty happy with that. Mika also did a good job to finish inside the top ten, after struggling with front-end chatter, and pick up his first championship points in the opening race. I’m satisfied to leave the first race with two top ten finishes and the points to go with them, but we need to make sure we don’t have the same qualifying issues next time out in Jerez.”