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Oct 19, 2013

Pol Espargaro Takes Moto2 Pole Position In Australia, Championship Leader Redding Out With Broken Wrist

FIM Moto2 World Championship: Pol Espargaro (40).
FIM Moto2 World Championship
Phillip Island, Australia
October 19, 2013
Qualifying Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), 1:32.530
2. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:32.540, crashed twice
3. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:32.769
4. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SPEED UP), 1:32.769
5. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:32.817
6. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 1:32.833, crash
7. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:32.893, crash
8. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 1:32.902
9. Mattia PASINI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:32.946
10. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), 1:32.962, crash
11. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (KALEX), 1:33.064
12. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), 1:33.076
13. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:33.103
14. Simone CORSI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:33.182
15. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:33.232
16. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 1:33.310
17. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), 1:33.450
18. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (KALEX), 1:33.482
19. Louis ROSSI, France (TECH 3), 1:34.037
20. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:34.092




More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing:

Phillip Island, Australia - 19 October 2013: Scott Redding has been forced to withdraw from tomorrow's Australian Moto2 Grand Prix, after injuring his left wrist in a qualifying crash this afternoon at Phillip Island.

Redding, who leads the Moto2 World Championship by nine points from Pol Espargaro, crashed heavily at the high speed turn 12 in the final few minutes of qualifying. After an initial assessment in the circuit medical centre, the 20-year-old Briton was diagnosed with a fractured left wrist.

Redding will be transported to Epworth Hospital in Richmond where he'll undergo surgery on the fractured wrist later this evening. The severity of the injury means Redding will not race in tomorrow's Australian Moto2 Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
A decision on the likely date of Redding's return to racing will be made together with the medical staff at Epworth Hospital after the operation this evening.

Mika Kallio also crashed in the final minutes of qualifying, shortly after the session recommenced following a red flag, but his time from earlier in the session was enough to secure him sixth position on the grid for tomorrow's race.

The Australian Moto2 Grand Prix has been reduced from 25 to just 13 laps, following concerns about tyre degradation at the recently resurfaced Phillip Island circuit. Full championship points will still be awarded.

Livio Loi will start tomorrow's Australian Moto3 Grand Prix from the eighth row of the grid, after problems with traffic on track saw him qualify only 23rd this afternoon. The 16-year-old Belgian struggled to find a clear space on track throughout the 40-minute timed session and was unable to match his lap time from this morning's free practice, which was 0.5s quicker than his qualifying time. With a good start and a strong opening lap in tomorrow's race, a points scoring finish is still a realistic possibility for Loi.

Mika Kallio #36 // 6th // 1'32.833
"Of course, a crash is not the best way to finish qualifying, but I was quite satisfied with my pace at the beginning, when I was running in the top three. We tried a different tyre and a small change to the rear suspension, which was in the plan, but for some reason I lost the rear grip in the fast turns. We're not sure why I crashed at turn eight, but the bike was badly damaged and that was the end of qualifying for me. It's frustrating, because there was definitely more to come in the final few minutes. It will be a different kind of race tomorrow, as it's just 13 laps. We won't have to conserve tyres, but we'll need to be awake at the start, as everyone will be all-out as soon as the lights go out. With a good start, everything is possible. Scott had some bad luck today, but I hope he'll heal quickly and be back very soon."

Livio Loi #11 // 23rd // 1'38.637 // @LivioLoi
"I'm really disappointed with my qualifying performance today, as I was slower than I was in FP3 this morning. Every time I got my head down to go for a qualifying time there was a problem. On my first run I made a mistake at turn four and on every run after that I was blocked by groups of riders in front of me. I'm really angry, as I know I could have done a good lap time today, but always I was at a bad time and in the wrong place. I was hoping to be at least in the top 15 or 16 this afternoon, but starting from 23rd on the grid means I'll have some work to do in the race tomorrow if I'm to finish in the points. I am so sorry for Scott, as he was looking good for a strong result here. Hopefully the surgery will go well and he'll be back on the bike again soon."

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
"Obviously I am absolutely gutted for Scott. He was pushing hard and the rear just got away from him. Normally he'd have dusted himself off and put it down to experience, even at the ultra-fast turn 12, but he was unfortunate in that he got caught up with the bike and ended up with a fractured wrist. The most important thing now is that he recovers properly before making his return to racing. Yes, there's a championship to be fought over, but our priority now is Scott's health. If that means we have to forfeit the championship then so be it. But we're still in the race tomorrow with Mika, who qualified well today. The fact that the race is now only over 13 laps will make things difficult, but he knows what he needs to do and I'm confident he'll be able to fight for a podium finish tomorrow. Livio lost out today because he wasn't aggressive enough in qualifying. If other riders don't want to give you room then you need to make your own space. With a good start tomorrow he can still finish in the points, which is exactly what we expect from him."