REDDING SHINES IN FINAL TEST What’s made the difference?
| Rejuvenated young Brit ends winter testing as second fastest
Scott Redding staked his claim to being a serious contender in the opening round of the 2016 Motogp championship next week. The 23-year-old Brit continued his impressive pre-season form, leaving Qatar with a lap time which left him second fastest overall.
One of the only riders able to run consistently in the 1m 55s mark around the Losail circuit, Redding’s pace and consistency now leave him as a podium candidate for the series’ first race.
But despite the incredible success of both testing and his clear affinity with the Ducati GP15 machine, the 23-yearold told MCN that he’s keen to keep his expectations realistic.
“I’m going to keep my target to be in the top six. When I said that before, a lot of people laughed at me, questioned it – but now people are taking me seriously. I try not to say things I don’t believe I can do, and Ducati have given me a bike that’s competitive.
“I’ve gelled with it really well. I’ve been in the game a long time, I’m talented, and I work hard at it, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t come now.”
A key element to Redding’s success is down to the electronics. Last season Ducati had the foresight to run their satellite bikes on the less sophisticated control electronics that have become compulsory in 2016.
Capitalising on the information already gathered by the team on the electronics, Redding was able to work through the final three days of the winter to dial in the intricacies of the new system.
“Progress on the electrics is the main reason we were so fast on the used tyre. The only problem was I was getting faster and faster with the used tyre - I did my fastest lap with 15 laps on the tyre!
“I did a run of 10 laps – it wasn’t planned, I was just having fun and felt good! And they were all 1m 55s laps unless I ran a bit wide or got caught behind someone. All the laps I pushed were 55.5, 55.4 55.3 and getting faster and faster.”
But the bike and the electronics aren’t the only big changes evident in the package for 2016, with the some- There’s clearly been a huge difference in Redding’s pace over the winter, as his times tumbled and he improved from 13th in last year’s Qatari test to second this time round.
So where has the improvement come from? Ironically, in an off-season that has saw his opposition chasing their tails to come to grips with new Michelin tyres and control electronics, it may be the move back to basics that has had the biggest effect on Redding’s progress.
“The electronics for me don’t feel that bad because I don’t rely on them – and I think that was the problem with the Bridgestones. times-headstrong Redding of past seasons replaced by a more methodical and focused racer; an approach he has adopted to his entire pre-season.
“I’m trying to learn a lot at once, and I don’t want to go out and crash, especially when I’m trying to get my confidence back. It’s finding that limit, then working on a few small things near it – faster in, slower out, to see if it works, like that; calculating the speed of a corner properly.
“It’s just a case of understanding what’s happening. I’m still learning the bike, learning the tyres; unlike lot in the front, and I couldn’t get my head around that.
“They use a lot of electronics to control that, but we were a new team still learning and with no experience. It was a big wall to get over with no ladder to help, and this year I’m already on top of the wall – I just need to jump down and start running!”
‘ The electronics don’t feel that bad because I don’t rely on them’