Scott Redding was poised to be the next big thing in MotoGP, however following five difficult years, Redding found himself leaving the most elite motorcycle racing class to race on a national level against people who race for a hobby, not a career. Most BSB racers race alongside a “normal” job, that doesn’t mean to say they don’t work as hard when racing, however are not fortunate to be able to dedicate their life to solely racing.
It was a move which shocked many, however, given his struggles with the Aprilia RS-GP and his disdain and lack of motivation for racing, Scott needed a new challenge to give him the feeling of winning back which he had missed dearly.
Redding didn’t always struggle, the rider was the runner up in the 2013 Moto2 World Championship, taking three wins on his way and had many duels with Marc Marquez in Moto2 on the Marc VDS Kalex.
Following this, expectations were high when he joined MotoGP, however, he managed only two podiums, finishing in third place both times for Marc VDS Honda then Pramac Ducati before moving to the Gresini Aprilia team.
The Gloucestershireman suffered a torrid season at Aprilia, scoring just 20 points in 18 races, out of these 18 races, he only scored points in 7 with a best result of P11.
Following this season, Redding debated retiring from motorsport completely, this was until he received an offer from outside the championship. It was announced in October 2018 was leaving MotoGP to ride for the Paul Bird Motorsport team in BSB aboard a new Ducati Panigale V4 R alongside Joshua Brookes.
The pre-season was supposed to be about adapting to the new machinery without electronics, however in January when Redding and some friends were training, he crashed and made contact with a barrier, breaking his femur with just four weeks to go until the first test. He was given an 8 week recovery time by doctors.
This didn’t stop the ‘man on a mission’ who was determined to ride and get his racing career back on track. Redding took a podium in his first BSB race and it took him just five races to win his first race, doing the triple at Donington Park where he won his first 125cc race 11 years prior.
There were 27 races in total across the season with Redding winning 11 of these races with 20 total podiums, a record which gave him the BSB title in his first attempt.
After five tough years of not winning a single race, this gave Redding exactly what he needed to gain back his confidence and desire to race after not enjoying racing during his time in MotoGP. He proved to himself that he can win races and shut everyone who was doubting him down.
His performance was enough to convince the Factory Ducati Aruba.IT WSBK squad to sign him for their title assault in 2020 replacing Alvaro Bautista who switched to the new HRC backed Honda team to ride their new CBR1000RR-R. The team were incredibly competitive in 2019 with rookie Alvaro Bautista winning his first 11 races with the team consecutively before losing the championship.
Redding openly criticised Bautista who said “I think the problem was Bautista himself, he had a mindset to dominate and he dominated, 100 per cent, amazing. That’s how a rider of that calibre should win races in Superbike. He had an advantage with the weight and the speed but Jonny [Rea] was very patient, very smart, just keep applying pressure.” Redding said regarding Bautista losing the title despite dominating in the first third of the season.
“When Alvaro crashed the first time, he then dominated again, he wanted to show, ‘I can still win’. Then he crashed again and thought, ‘hmm, it is not ideal, I don’t need to do that’. Then he crashed again because he was thinking about it. Then the gap was closing from Jonny, he crashed again and then Jonny started winning and he had more pressure. Then you put yourself in a position where you are trying to save the championship and when you’re trying to save the championship, you are in trouble.” Continued Redding.
Since his arrival in the World SBK championship, Redding’s form has not slowed down taking a triple podium at Phillip Island before backing this up with another triple podium at Jerez, taking two wins at the Spanish circuit.
Redding is the current championship leader over Jonathan Rea with hopes of taking yet another rookie title. He has openly admitted he would return to MotoGP but has emphasised that this would only be with the factory MotoGP team as his current WSBK set up would be something he would not give up lightly. If Redding can win the title this year, could he return to the MotoGP paddock?
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