Another Jerez Moto2 preview, this time from the Marc VDS Racing team and chassis builder FTR:
KALLIO AND REDDING CONFIDENT AHEAD OF JEREZ
The Marc VDS Racing Team return to Jerez this weekend, the scene of two successful pre-season tests for Scott Redding and Mika Kallio and the venue for the second round of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship.
After a difficult start to the season in Qatar, where both Redding and Kallio finished outside the points, the Marc VDS riders head to Jerez determined to get their championship campaigns back on track with two strong results at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Jerez circuit is one at which the Marc VDS riders have enjoyed success in the past. Kallio took the race win in the 250cc class in 2008, to add to his 125cc podium finish three years earlier. While the Jerez podium has eluded Redding so far, the British rider previously finished fourth at the Spanish Grand Prix, during his second season in the 125cc World Championship.
Situated in southwest Spain, not far from the coastal city of Cadiz and on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, the Circuito de Jerez has a complex layout, offering riders a real challenge. It boasts 13 turns over its 4.42km distance, with a combination of slow technical corners and fast sweeping turns making stability under braking and a good feeling from the front tyre critical when it comes to bike set-up.
Mika Kallio #36:
"For me the critical thing this weekend will be tyres. In Qatar I couldn't get either tyre option to work and we struggled to find a good feeling all weekend. I hope that, for this race, Dunlop will bring the same tyres we tested with at Jerez earlier this year, when we found a good set-up on the bike and my lap times were close to those of the riders at the top of the timesheet. It's important that I get a good feeling from the front of the bike again here at Jerez, and the tyres will play a big part in achieving this. I came into this season with one goal, to finish in the top five from the very start. I didn't manage that in Qatar, but I hope that we can turn things around in Jerez this weekend.
Scott Redding #45:
"Qatar was a complete fail as far as I'm concerned, but after two successful pre-season tests at Jerez, we head into this weekend knowing that we have the pace. The bike will suit the Jerez track better than it did Qatar; we have a pretty good base setting for this track already, which means we can be a bit adventurous with the set-up in practice, as we can always switch back if changes don't work as expected. The fast corners here are where you make or lose time, so a good feeling with the front of the bike is important. This is one area in which we still have some work to do, but I'm confident that we can score a good result this weekend and get our season back on track."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"We struggled in Qatar, so I'm happy to return to Jerez, where Scott and Mika were well and truly on the pace during pre-season testing. After the problems we had with tyres in Qatar, we know from testing here that the Dunlop tyres work well around the Jerez circuit, so that's one less problem already. Both riders are fired up for this weekend, determined to get their season back on track, so I'm pretty confident that we'll leave here on Sunday with two good results and our first championship points of the year."
FTR MOTO CALLING ON SPANISH EXPERIENCE
FTR MOTO heads into Sunday's second round of the Moto2 World Championship in Spain looking to capitalise on the Jerez circuit experience of much its 12-strong rider line-up.
Non-Spanish riders Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castello), Kenny Noyes (FOGI/GP Tech Team), Yonny Hernandez (Blusens-STX) and brother Santiago Hernandez (Stop and Go Team) are all graduates of the CEV Buckler Spanish Championship classes.
Additionally, Spanish riders Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up Team) will both be keen to impress on their FTR M211 debuts in their home Grand Prix.
The IODA Racing Project's Simone Corsi arrives in Spain after a sixth place finish in the opening round in Qatar two weeks ago, improving from 11th on the grid to take 10 World Championship points on his M211.
His luckless team-mate Mattia Pasini was one of eight riders to crash out of the opening round and the determined Italian will be keen to impress at Jerez – the circuit where, in 2006, he recorded the first of 11 pole positions in the 125cc World Championship. Pasini also climbed the podium at Jerez in 2008 after taking a runner-up finish in the 250cc race.
"We got the 2011 World Championship under way with four of our riders in the points but, as is always the case with racing and development, you always feel you can do better and hopefully that will be the case in Jerez this weekend," said FTR's Steve Bones.
He continued: "We began our Moto2 story as a constructor in Spain at the end of 2009 and with four Grands Prix there last year plus our Spanish Championship commitments it really does feel like home. Last year we felt like we had a possible race win on the cards at Jerez after Alex Debon showed tremendous pace in the practice sessions – all until a first lap crash.
"This year we are looking to the strong Spanish presence and Spanish Championship experience that we have on the M211s. We're also keen to continue our technical development after spending time testing at Jerez in the winter months so this weekend also offers us a comparison "test" for development of the new machine."