REDDING EMERGES AS A TITLE CONTENDER IN JEREZ
The Marc VDS Racing Team's Scott Redding emerged as a real contender for this year's Moto2 World Championship title, as the 17-year-old Briton finished the final IRTA test at Jerez fourth fastest overall and confident of further
improvement had rain not brought a premature end to the three-day test.
Redding had struggled to adapt his riding style to the Suter MMX Moto2 machine that he'll campaign this season, but the Marc VDS rider made a significant breakthrough during a private two-day session at Jerez last week. The youngster continued to improve throughout the three days of the final IRTA test at Jerez, where he was consistently placed in the top five on the timesheet.
Redding's target for the first race in Qatar is to secure a top ten finish for the Marc VDS Racing Team on their Grand Prix debut, but the youngster is already starting to see the top five as his rightful place in the Moto2 order.
While Redding is in a confident mood his Marc VDS teammate, Vincent Lonbois, heads for Qatar knowing that his Grand Prix debut in the Middle East is going to be a difficult one. The 19-year-old Belgian has struggled to get to grips with the Suter MMX Moto2 machine during pre-season tests, most of which have been disrupted by bad weather.
Lonbois will continue the process of adapting from a production bike to a Grand Prix racer in Qatar, where he'll also have to learn his way around a track on which he's never raced before.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will head for Qatar on 7th April, with the opening Moto2 race scheduled to take place on the evening of Sunday 11th April.
Scott Redding #45: 170 Laps - Best Time 1'44.394
"It's all come together during the last two tests here in Jerez and, I'm glad to say, we're now well and truly on the pace. We've made some big steps forward with the set-up of the bike, but the biggest improvement has come from me changing my riding style; I was trying to ride the bike like a 125cc machine, when it requires a very different style to get the best from it. Having been in the top five on the timesheet throughout these three days, we head for the first race in Qatar knowing that we're on the pace, but I'm determined not to be over confident. We'll be aiming for a top ten finish but, if I'm honest, I think top five could be a possibility if everything comes together for us. I just can't wait to get there and get the season started now!"
Vincent Lonbois #27: 157 Laps - Best Time 1'47.233
"It's been a difficult three days here in Jerez. Scott has proved what the bike is capable of, but I'm still struggling to get a good feeling with it and to find the best line through each turn. What I need is more time on the bike, but time is something we've run out of now. The next opportunity I will have to ride the bike will be at the first race in Qatar, where I also need to learn my way around a track I've never even seen before. It will be tough, that's for sure, but I need to keep at it if I am to start closing the gap on Scott."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"Scott initially struggled to get the best from the bike, but he's done a great job of adapting his riding style during the last two outings at Jerez, steadily progressing up the timesheets as a result. Sometimes it's easy to forget he's only 17-years-old, because his approach is that of a much more mature rider. We head for Qatar with a top ten finish as his target, but I know he's determined to break into the top five first time out and really stamp his authority on the championship. It's been a tough pre-season for Vincent. He needed maximum time on the bike to make the transition from production racer to Grand Prix pilot, but bad weather at the first three tests put paid to that. For Vincent, Qatar will be an additional test. His goal will be only to continue his adaptation to our Moto2 bike and to try and try and get a bit closer to Scott's lap time."