11 February 2013
Moto2; Redding sets sights in title attack
“The new combined minimum weight limit will make for a much more level playing field this season, and I'm confident that Scott will be a contender this season as a result” - Michael Bartholemy, Marc VDS.
The 2013 Moto2 and Moto3 seasons get underway on Tuesday at Valencia, with the first of three official pre-season tests.
With the likes of reigning Moto2 champion Marc Marquez and eight time race winner Andrea Iannone stepping up to MotoGP, Pol Espargaro has inherited the pre-season favourite tag.
But Scott Redding is expected to be among those putting pressure on the Spaniard.
The tall Briton enjoyed his most successful Moto2 season with four podiums and fifth in last year's standings - and his 2013 hopes have been significantly boosted by the new minimum rider and bike weight limit.
Still seeking his first 600cc win, Redding's main focus is on nothing less than a title challenge.
“My main goal for this season is to be in the battle for the championship, and I need to start the process with two good tests in Valencia and Jerez this month, before returning to Jerez for the final test in March,” said Redding.
Redding's Marc VDS team principal Michael Bartholemy believes the weight change could provide the final piece in the puzzle.
"The new combined minimum weight limit will make for a much more level playing field this season, and I'm confident that Scott will be a contender this season as a result,” he said.
Redding will continue on Kalex machinery for a second successive season and again ride alongside Mika Kallio.
Kallio, one of the lighter riders, needs to put 10kg on his machine to reach the new weight limit, but doesn't feel it will be significant.
“Like myself, [new chief mechanic Naoya Kaneko] also doesn't think the additional weight this year is going to make a big difference, but we'll know for sure on Tuesday,” said the Finn.
Marc VDS will also enter the Moto3 class this year, running Belgian teenager Livio Loi (pictured with Redding).
Pre-season testing will be especially important for Loi, as grand prix regulations dictate he can't race until after his 16th birthday on 27th April, which means he will have to sit out the first two rounds of the championship.
"The races in Moto3 are longer than the races I did last season in the Rookies Cup and CEV, so I've been training hard over the winter and I feel well prepared for the challenge ahead,” he said.
“These pre-season tests are going to be important for me, as I will miss the first two rounds of the season, but I hope I can do well. Like always, I'll go full throttle and we will see."
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