The Marc VDS Racing press office issued the following preview of the first Moto2 test of 2012, due to be held from Wednesday to Friday this week:
MARC VDS READY TO GET 2012 SEASON UNDERWAY
After more than two months absence from the racetrack, the Marc VDS Racing Team will finally get their 2012 Moto2 World Championship campaign underway this week, with a three-day test at the Valencia circuit in Spain.
For the 2012 season the Marc VDS Racing Team have switched to Kalex machinery, with Scott Redding quickly adapting to the new bike to top the timesheet during the final test of 2011 in Jerez.
The British youngster, who turned 19 in January, is keen to carry this momentum into both pre-season testing and the first race in Qatar. Redding is the first to admit that his pace during testing hasn't been reflected in his early race performances, a situation he is determined to rectify as he heads into his third season in Moto2.
Mika Kallio heads into pre-season testing with renewed confidence, after his podium finish in the final race of 2011 at Valencia was backed up by successful post season tests aboard the new Kalex Moto2 bike at Jerez.
The flying Finn's confidence has been boosted further by changes to his crew for the coming season. The vastly experienced Manuel Olivencia will be Kallio's chief mechanic, while former Stefan Bradl mechanic, Stefan Haseneder, will work alongside Christian Aussems on the bike.
The first three-day test of the 2012 season gets underway at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia on Wednesday 8th February. The Marc VDS Racing Team will then head straight to Jerez for three more days of testing, starting on Thursday 16th February. The final three-day pre-season test also takes place at Jerez, commencing on Monday 19th March.
Scott Redding: #45
"After a couple of months off the bike, I'm really looking forward to getting back to work at Valencia. We need to be on the pace from the first practice session in Qatar, so these pre-season tests are critical. In the past we've come away from tests convinced we've got a good set-up on the bike, only to have problems in the first few races. The advantage we have this season is that we know the new Kalex is good. From the first test last year I felt confident on the bike, able to push harder because it didn't feel like I was going to crash in every corner. Now we need to focus on refining the set-up and confirming and reconfirming any changes we make. If we can do this during testing then I'm confident we can fight at the front from the very first race this season."
Mika Kallio: #36
"First impressions of the Kalex were very positive, both for me and the team. The bike works really well and, during the post-season test at Jerez, we were posting the same times as the old bike almost immediately. There is definitely more to come, as we learn more about the set-up and I adapt my riding style to get the best from the bike, so I'm pretty confident going into pre-season testing. I have some new people in my crew this season and we're already starting to work well together. They seem to have the same ideas about set-up as I do, which makes the testing process easier. If we can continue where we left off last year then there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to run at the front in 2012."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"After a somewhat difficult season, we ended 2011 on a high with Mika's second place at Valencia. Post season testing with the new Kalex bike was also very positive, with Scott topping the timesheet in Jerez, but now we need to carry this momentum into the new season. Our priority at this first test is not to chase one-off fast lap times, but to find a set-up on the bike that allows Scott and Mika to lap both quickly and consistently. We need to be fastest when it counts, at the first race, so that effectively dictates our plan for these pre-season tests. I have every confidence in our riders, the team and the bike, so I know we can achieve our goal."