Scott Redding, BSB champ and WSB contender, is gagging to go racing after months of coronavirus delays. He talks about life during lockdown, pre-race rave-ups, and rediscovering his love for racing
TPhotography: his interview was conducted according to strict social distancing guidelines: scott redding was 6,000 miles (9,655 kilometres) and eight hours away from where i was. when i facetimed him, it was 4.30 pm in London, 8.30 am in Malibu, California. he answered his phone and all i saw was bleary eyes, bed hair, muscles, and tattoos.
‘You’re not naked, are you?’ i asked. redding lowered his phone to reveal that he was wearing underpants but nothing else. then he kicked back on his couch, accepted a cup of coffee from his girlfriend, Jacey hayden, and then the interview began.
the reigning BsB champion is several weeks into California’s coronavirus lockdown, going slightly crazy, like everyone else. in fact, even crazier, because racers live their lives strung tight like a bow and arrow — the bow string stretched as taut as it’ll go, ready to unleash hell.
‘it’s mad. it feels like i’ve retired!’ he said. ‘i’ve struggled with that. i thought the feeling would blow over after a few weeks, but then the talk about going racing got later and later. i’m thinking, what am i going to do? then i’m thinking, is it worth training or should i just be doing all?
‘it’s wrecked my mind, because i can’t just do nothing, so i’ve been losing my mind! i have to really focus on something, because, when you’re a racer, you always focus on the next season and when the season starts, you break it down to each race weekend, ticking them off. after each race weekend you’re focusing on the next race and you’re always looking for improvements.
‘that’s what i did after the first world superbike round at Phillip island [in early March]. i thought about the races we did there and i knew where i could improve, so i was ready to go to the next race and drop some bombs. and then there was no next round...’
Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis redding still isn’t 100 per cent sure when he will get to race his factory Ducati Panigale v4r again. wsB rights-holders Dorna hope to continue the season probably from august, health protocols permitting, but redding still feels like an angry junkie, wondering where and when he will get his next fix.