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Redding and Smith evaluate Estoril outings

Redding and Smith evaluate Estoril outings

The British duo experienced varying degrees of satisfaction at the weather affected Portuguese meeting this week.

Scott Redding will attempt to make up for time lost at the weather affected Estoril Moto2 Test with a private run at Jerez next week, after the Marc VDS Racing Team’s plans in Portugal were severely disrupted by the unfavourable conditions.

Along with team-mate Mika Kallio the young Brit, who after a superb debut season in Moto2 in 2010 is being touted as one of the title candidates for 2011, was unable to make significant headway with the Testing schedule devised by his team for the Suter MMXI at Estoril.

The Belgian-based team will now head to Jerez to try and compensate next Wednesday and Thursday, and upon the Estoril Test’s conclusion Redding said: “After a successful Test at Valencia I was looking forward to coming here to Estoril and continuing the work on the bike, but the weather put paid to that.”

“The first day was difficult, but the second day I didn't even bother going out the track was that bad. On the third day we had a bit of a break in the weather, but the track didn't really dry out properly between rain showers and it was only in the final hour we got anywhere close to dry conditions. Even then the track was really slippery after all the rain. Hopefully we'll get some better weather in Jerez next week and we'll be able to pick up where we left off in Valencia."

Redding’s compatriot Bradley Smith, who is making the leap from 125cc to Moto2 with the Tech 3 outfit in 2011, enjoyed a slightly more productive three days as he rode almost 100 laps despite the adverse weather conditions.

"Although the weather didn't provide us with the best conditions, we are going in the right direction with the bike and I am learning a lot,” said Smith. “The bike feels more like my friend now and that is very positive for me. Each time I go out on track I am learning so much that I am sure I can still make a big step forward. In Valencia I was two seconds away, now I am 1.5s away. I am sure we can improve by another second by the time we get to Qatar for the first race, so I'm moving in the right direction.”

A crash on the second afternoon failed to dent Smith’s confidence, and he is now eager to assess what he has learnt from the past two Tests ahead of the final pre-season outing at Jerez (March 4th-6th) when he will ride with the official Honda Moto2 engine.

“I was lucky in the crash on the second day,” he commented. “The power caught me out in the rain, but luckily both the bike and I didn't get damaged too much. We've got a two-week break now before the next Test in Jerez and that is good to make some changes to the bike based on what we discovered in Valencia and Estoril. I'm loving working with the Tech 3 Racing Team and can't wait for the start of the season."

Moto2, 2011, Scott Redding, Bradley Smith, Tech 3 Racing, Marc VDS Racing Team

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