DISAPPOINTMENT FOR REDDING IN QATAR
After finishing second in yesterday's opening Moto2 practice session, the Marc VDS Racing Team's Scott Redding was disappointed to only qualify on the fifth row of the grid for tomorrow's first ever Moto2 race in Qatar. Hector Faubel ended
the 45-minute qualifying session in 32nd position, less than 1.5s behind his teammate and happy to have improved his time with every lap.
Redding was diagnosed with tennis elbow in his right arm after yesterday's free practice session. The 17-year-old Briton had the elbow strapped for today's practice and qualifying sessions, but was unable to apply full force to the handlebars of his Suter MMX machine.
The reappearance of the front-end chatter that had plagued Redding throughout the earlier pre-season tests reappeared unexpectedly right at the start of the qualifying session tonight, in which he also suffered with rear brake issues. The youngest rider on the Moto2 grid ended the session 17th fastest and was visibly disappointed not to have matched his performance from yesterday. Despite the disappointment the Marc VDS rider remains determined to secure a good result for the team in tomorrow's race.
Hector Faubel today continued his familiarisation with the Marc VDS Racing Team's Suter MMX Moto2 machine, having ridden it for the first time during yesterday's opening free practice session. The 26-year-old Spaniard was disappointed with his finishing qualifying position this evening, despite being only 2.5s off Toni Elias' pole position time, but happy to have improved his own lap time with every circulation of the 5.380km Losail circuit.
Scott Redding #45: 17th - 2'03.129
"We had problems right from the start today. My arm was quite sore this morning, but the biggest problem was with the rear brake; I just couldn't use it to stabilise the bike on corner entry, which slowed me down. Then, right at the beginning of qualifying, the chatter that we thought we'd eliminated during testing reappeared with a vengeance. I tried to ride round it by opening the throttle on corner entry and holding the bike back with the rear brake, but then the brake problems reappeared. In the end I just had to get my head down, try and find a clear space on what was a very crowded track and do the best that I could. If I can get a good start in the race and avoid any problems at turn one, then I hope we can leave here tomorrow with a reasonable result."
Hector Faubel #55: 32nd - 2'04.417
"Again, I am very happy to be progressing on the bike, but not so happy to be so far down the grid for tomorrow's race. It was a very positive day today; I managed to improve both my feeling with the bike and my time with every lap, eventually closing to within 2.5s of pole position. In tomorrow's race I will be looking to get a good enough start to hook onto the group of riders who were around one second faster than me today. Then it will be a case of hanging on for as long as I can, which I hope will be until the end of the race. The team have done a fantastic job during these two days and, today, I finally got to meet Marc van der Straten and thank him personally for giving me this opportunity."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"I'm pleased with Hector's progress today. In just two days and with limited track time, he's managed to close within 2.5s of the pole position time. It sounds a lot, and it is, but we shouldn't forget just how little time he's had on the bike since riding it for the first time yesterday. If he can finish higher than 29th tomorrow then I'll be very happy. Obviously we're a little disappointed Scott wasn't able to qualify closer to the front of the grid because, after yesterday, expectations were high. He pushed as hard as he could, but a number of problems during both sessions today meant he was unable to match his performance in yesterday's opening practice session. We will work tonight to improve things for tomorrow; Scott is quick off the line and, if he can avoid any problems in the first turn, I'm sure he'll be able to improve on his starting position in the race tomorrow."