British rider Scott Redding produced an impressive performance on the new Kalex chassis he will race in the 2012 Moto2 world championship at the start of a three-day test in Valencia yesterday.
The 18-year-old ended the opening day in third place on the unofficial timesheets as he got his first chance to evaluate the Kalex frame in dry conditions.
The Marc VDS Racing rider completed a handful of laps in Valencia last week on a wet track but yesterday was his first chance to try the Kalex on slick tyres after his Belgium-based squad opted to switch from the Suter frame he raced in 2011.
Redding told MCN: "I was really happy with the bike because I did my best time on my last lap with 32-laps on the rear tyre. It has really good front feeling, which is really good for me, and good rear traction, so I’m really happy. The feedback you get is really good and you can feel the chassis working underneath you. The chassis is very stiff and you get a lot of confidence from the bike. I struggled for rear grip on the Suter and one of the big differences with the Kalex was the rear grip was really good immediately."
Redding also believes the design of the Kalex frame, which won the 2011 world title with German Stefan Bradl, will decrease the disadvantage he suffers because of his large physical size.
Redding is one of the tallest and heaviest in Moto2 and his physical stature has visibly hindered his acceleration speed and top speed.
But he added: "I can get tucked in much better on this bike coming out of the corners and yesterday on the straight I was actually able to draw alongside people which has never happened before. Before it was a real fight to get my arms and knees tucked in."
Pictures: Jaime de Diego