REDDING STORMS TO SECOND IN QATAR
The Marc VDS Racing Team's Scott Redding stormed to second place in today's opening Moto2 practice session in Qatar. Hector Faubel, who rode the team's Suter MMX machine for the first time in the hour-long timed session, ended 39th fastest,
but confident of improvement during practice and qualifying tomorrow.
Redding used the first 30 minutes of this evening's practice session to evaluate grip around the 5.38km Losail circuit, before upping the pace and claiming the top spot on the timesheet with 15 minutes remaining. The 17-year-old Briton looked all set to finish the first ever Moto2 free practice session in first place, until a late flying lap by ex-MotoGP star, Alex De Angelis, demoted the youngest rider in the Moto2 class to second place.
Hector Faubel was drafted into the Marc VDS Racing Team less than seven days ago and, with no pre-season testing behind him, the 26-year-old Spaniard knew he was facing a steep learning curve in Qatar. Despite this handicap, Faubel improved his lap time throughout the session, eventually ending in 39th place. A former race winner in Qatar, Faubel is confident of improvement during tomorrow's practice and qualifying session.
The Moto2 bikes will take to the track for the second free practice session at 20.10 local time, with the final 45-minute qualifying session getting underway at 00.10.
Scott Redding: #45 - 2nd - 2'03.239
"I'm pretty happy with that! The bike felt good from the start and I was able to stay with the faster riders from the beginning of the session. We made a few changes to the bike, which worked well, but then we tried a different tyre and the back end started coming round on me. So, we switched back to the tyre that worked so well at the start of the session and that's when I set my fastest lap. The team have done a great job here and I'm confident that, together, we will continue to improve. It was a good way to start off in Moto2 and I'm looking forward to getting back on track for practice and qualifying tomorrow night."
Hector Faubel: #55 - 39th - 2'08.108
"In one way I'm happy. I'm here in Moto2 and I'm riding for a very professional team, after being left without a ride just weeks before the start of the season. But, I'm obviously not so happy with my time and my position, even though I know that I couldn't really expect more with no pre-season testing. The bike is good; through the fast turns it works well, but we have a small problem with corner entry in the slower turns that we need to work on tomorrow. More than anything I just need more time on the bike, to build up both a good feeling and my confidence. It will come, we just have to be a little patient."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"After all the hard work, the impossible deadlines and the difficulties we've faced as a new team over the past few months, seeing Scott end the first Moto2 practice session second fastest was an emotional moment for all of us. Our Team Owner, Marc van der Straten, who was in the airport waiting for his flight to Qatar, was glued to the phone throughout the session, with one of the team relaying events to him. I think he was also very happy with Scott's performance tonight. This is important to all of us in the team, as we wouldn't even be here without Marc's commitment to this project. Considering he has never ridden our bike before tonight, Hector also did a great job. His approach was very measured and he improved throughout the session. I am confident that, given time, he will be pushing Scott at the front of the field. I hope we can carry this momentum through into tomorrow, to end the day with two good grid positions for Sunday's first ever Moto2 race."