RED­DING SHINES IN FI­NAL TEST What’s made the dif­fer­ence?

| Re­ju­ve­nated young Brit ends win­ter test­ing as se­cond fastest

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - AT QATAR MO­TOGP REPORTER si­mon.patterson@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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’

They had no grip in the rear and a A ma­ture at­ti­tude has seen Red­ding make real progress

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