MarcVDS Racings Scott Redding had a race of mixed fortunes at COTA in Austin, Texas yesterday. The British Moto2 star took his maiden series pole position and made a lightening start to back up his qualifying performance and pressed hard to make a gap on the chasing pack.
|Redding lead the field in the opening laps at COTA
Photo: MarcVDS Racing
Before the race Redding had expressed concerns about tyre life for the 19 lapper and as early as lap six the Gloucestershire youngsters concerns were realised as he was unable to maintain his initial pace. Where previously Redding may have tried to ride round the issues by risking further points loss, he showed great maturity and racecraft to nurse the tyres home and salvage a fighting fifth place safe in the knowledge his championship aspirations were in tact as his closest challengers failed to finish the race.
Those precious 11 points for fifth place in Austin see Redding sitting at the top of the Moto2 Championship table for the first time in his career with a four point gap to second place ahead of the next race in Jerez in early May.
After a weekend of career firsts the laid-back Redding said “I’m obviously disappointed not to be on the podium after starting from pole position but I salvaged fifth position out of a difficult race and now I am leading the championship and that’s a great feeling. Before the race I knew we’d struggle with the tyres going off and that’s exactly what happened. I went out there to win but after six laps I knew it was impossible. I guessed that Espargaro and Nakagami were out so I just used my brain and didn’t push too hard to risk a crash that would have been very costly. It was a decent fifth and now I am leading the championship I need to hold it together for the rest of the year after a great start to the season.”
Team Boss Michael Bartholomey added “We certainly won’t be forgetting our first trip to COTA in a hurry. Scott scored an amazing debut pole position and today he leaves leading the World Championship after a very mature ride. And Mika got a podium, which was a great way to end the weekend. Mika got a great start and was very aggressive in the first two laps to give himself a great chance of the podium. He then rode really fast while trying to conserve his tyres to stay in the podium places right to the end. He’s now finished in the top five in both races and that is great for his confidence. After Scott’s pole position we’d hoped he’d at least be on the podium. His strategy was to make a break and manage the gap at the front, but we knew he’d have some issues with tyre wear. He still did a brilliant job and he used his head to score some really important points. I’m really happy for the Marc VDS Racing Team and in particular Marc, who has given incredible support to this project. We are leading the World Championship for the first time and hopefully we can remain there.”