By Stephen English
Moto2 title leader Scott Redding will start from the front row in Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen and remains confident he can match Pol Espargaro's pace in race conditions.
The duo have dominated the championship thus far but will be separated on the grid by Johann Zarco, who qualified a career best second.
When asked for his thoughts on how tomorrow's race will play out Redding said:
"It's only me and Pol in the 38s. Zarco did one lap and Rabat did a lot of low 39s, he's consistently low, but he's two tenths off us. I think I'll play it safe in the beginning but try and not let Pol get a gap because he has the pace out of the blocks."
Marc VDS star Redding added that he should be even closer tomorrow once the team improve their gear ratios:
"I think that Pol wasn't as fast as it looked because he kept cutting the last chicane which I think gave him a bit of an advantage on the next lap. It was very close out there and we weren't sure on a gear ratio and it was on the limiter quite hard so I think that the two sectors I was losing time was because of this.
“I'll try something different tomorrow and hopefully we'll get the time back."
A lot of riders have been complaining about the track conditions and a lack of grip and for Redding it will mean taking slightly longer to warm up the tyres.
"It's so cold that if you push hard on the first laps it can be all over. The tyres are taking two laps to heat up so it's a bit different. Normally straight out of the box they're good but here we're struggling with rear grip [on the first lap]."