Two more press releases after the Valencia Moto2 test, this time from the Marc VDS Racing team of Scott Redding and Mika Kallio, and from chassis manufacturer Suter:
All Suter riders happy with new bike
At the first official pre-season test of the Moto2 category in Valencia, all Suter riders were happy with the latest version of the famous Swiss racing prototype. „It didn’t take me long to feel good and comfortable on the bike. The new Suter MMXII is based on last year’s MMXI, with careful modifications in different areas. All components work very well together and I noticed a remarkable increase in stability under brakes and in rear tyre grip on the corner exits“, said Swiss hero Tom Luthi, who was clearly fastest Suter rider during the three day of testing on the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
“The most noticeable changes in comparison to last year are the new “upside-down” type swingarm and the carbon reinforcements in the front sections of the frame”, said Reto Karrer, Moto2 project leader at Suter Racing Technology. “Both these modifications changed the stiffness of our chassis in a certain way and led to very positive feedback. All Suter riders felt comfortable on the bike almost immediately, even Alex de Angelis, Roberto Rolfo, Yuki Takahashi, Nico Terol und Toni Elias, who rode on a different bike or in a different category last year. The biggest challenge for Nico was the change from a 125 cc two-stroke engine to a 600 cc four-stroke machine with its special Suter slipper clutch. The return to Moto2 racing is not an easy task for Toni Elias either, who won the Moto2 world championship 2010 on Moriwaki and then tried his luck in MotoGP racing in 2011. But Toni is happy with his Suter MMXII as well and finds a bit more speed every time he goes out on the track.”
“Our riders are still a few tenths of a second away from the top in the time sheets, but due to the unusually cold temperatures at Valencia and due to the different engine specs the teams have been using, the lap times here didn’t have much significance. More important is the progress the individual riders made with the base set-up of their bikes. We managed to sort through lots of different geometry and suspension settings, but we still have an extensive testing schedule ahead of us, which allows us to try many more options, on the set-up and with certain chassis parts like different linkages for the rear suspension.”
“In 2012, a total of eight Moto2 riders will compete with Suter prototypes. Seven out of eight were on the track in Valencia, only Marc Márquez decided to give the session a miss and to continue his recovery from his vision problems. The way things look, he will also miss the tests at Jerez next week and only return to action with a private testing session at Portimao at the beginning of March. But his team came to Valencia and followed our progress with keen interest. I spoke with Marc’s father Juliá, who confirmed that his vision has returned by 98 per cent, but that he will only ride once he is 100 per cent recovered. This is a very good and healthy approach, especially since Marc does not need to hurry: He had been riding the latest version of the Suter prototype since the Grand Prix of Aragón last year and he knows the bike very well!”
REDDING SMASHES LAP RECORD AT VALENCIA
Valencia, Spain - 11 Feb 2012: Scott Redding got his 2012 season off to a flying start by shattering the outright lap record at Valencia. Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, was also under lap record pace during the three days of testing at Valencia, despite a big crash on the opening day.
After a two-month absence from the track, Redding was quickly up to speed, topping the timesheets on day one with a time more than half a second inside the current lap record. On day two he improved further to post the fastest ever Moto2 lap of the 4km Valencia circuit by a considerable margin.
Of more concern to his championship rivals was the Marc VDS rider's pace during a full race simulation on the final day. Almost every lap was under lap record pace, proving that the switch to Kalex machinery has given Redding the consistency to match his undoubted pace.
With track conditions less than ideal at Valencia, Kallio opted not to push for fast lap times over the three days, but instead to continue his familiarisation with the Kalex Moto2 bike by clocking up as many kilometres as possible. Unfortunately, after just 26 laps, the Marc VDS rider was forced to sit out the rest of the opening day after crashing heavily at turn one.
Kallio was back on track for days two and three, posting times consistently below lap record pace. The Finnish rider is now looking forward to the next test at Jerez, where he's confident he can find the extra pace needed to close the gap on the current Moto2 front-runners.
Scott Redding #45: Best Lap: 1'35.6
"The Kalex has been great from the start. It's good to be able to jump on the bike and be on the pace straightaway and I'm feeling more and more comfortable every time I get on it. Yesterday I was pushing for a fast lap when I dropped into the 1'35s, but today I was on almost the same pace for an entire race simulation. Last year we had real problems with the tyres dropping off just five or six laps into a race. In the race simulations so far with the Kalex the drop off only comes right at the end of the run and is less, so I can maintain the same pace. It's been a good test here at Valencia, but the next test in Jerez can't come soon enough for me now."
Mika Kallio #36: Best Lap 1'36.4
"The weather conditions here at Valencia were a limiting factor, with the cool track temperatures making things difficult. We decided just to get kilometres in on the bike, rather than spending time finding a set-up that worked in these conditions but wouldn't work elsewhere. The crash on day one sort of confirmed that decision for us too. It was a big one and the damage to the bike ruled us out for the rest of the first day. Despite not pushing so hard during the remaining two days my lap times were fairly good, I was able to lap consistently in the mid 1'36 bracket. Now we head for Jerez, which will be an important test for us. With warmer weather and better track conditions we will start to look for the tenths we need to close on the top of the timesheet."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"Both Marc VDS riders have done a good job here at Valencia, but Scott's speed and consistency over the three days have been particularly impressive. Yesterday he was more than 0.5s inside the outright lap record of Toni Elias, which is more than a second faster than anyone has managed in a Moto2 race here at Valencia. His consistency during the race simulation also showed that he could maintain this pace; unlike some of the riders who managed only a single quick lap today. Mika's confidence took a bit of a knock when he crashed heavily at turn one on the opening day, but I'm pleased to say he bounced back and has been consistently quick the past two days. It all bodes well for the season ahead. After such a successful test I'd like to say a big thank you to our President, Marc van der Straten, for his continuing support and confidence."