Octo Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding found some solutions to the rear grip problems he has been suffering at the Phillip Island MotoGP test but it has been a tough three days sitting at the wrong end of the timesheets and twice in the gravel trap.
The likeable Gloucestershire man made some tweaks and cut his gap to leader Maverick Vinales by a tenth and his laptime by four today but is not a happy Redding who leaves the Australian circuit today.
“I think all Ducatis seemed to struggle,” said Redding who ended the day in 20th position after he stopped the clock with a 1’30.005. I think having a bad start to the test like that doesn’t help anyway. So I managed to build some confidence up, but as soon as something happens it makes you think back to it.”
Redding admitted the second test of 2017 was hard for him to be able to do any development work due a stiff and heavy feeling with the forks on top of a lack of rear grip - a situation which he went some way to remedying today.
“I felt all the bumps a lot through the handle bars quite a lot. I tried a few different things, but it’s hard to try something when it’s not working – because whatever you try, doesn’t work.
“Especially in that situation. When it’s not working, it’s not working. It’s hard to see by the lap times because when the wind picks up into turn one you run wide you lose three tenths, you go into turn three and you end up in fucking Melbourne. It’s one of those things which is just frustrating.”
However, Redding tried a few different things with electronics and found a direction. “We tried a little bit with the bike. However the more we tried the more it went wrong – one or two things helped.”
For the next test at the Losail International Circuit Redding will need to try something different with the forks because they have a different fork settings compared to what he had last year. “We need to go back to somewhere in between or at least confirm what we had last year,” said Redding.
While most of the riders completed race runs today, Redding did not bother with doing any long runs as he wasn’t going to go out and struggle for 20 laps around the 4.445km seaside circuit. “My crew chief kind of wanted me to, but I said I’m not in a position to. I was struggling and didn’t feel comfortable like I wanted to. I think in Qatar I will do a couple of long runs to see where I am.
“When you’re struggling I don’t think it’s the best thing to do. If it’s a riding thing, then maybe a long run will help, but when it’s not a riding thing, it’s kind of pointless because you’re going to go round and round with the same shit every lap.”
At last year’s Australian MotoGP round Redding was having similar issues with the rear grip on a different iteration of the Desmosedici which points to a setup problem.
“I struggled all weekend for the race here and we made a massive change after the warm up for the race and it seemed to work better. We have come back with a similar setup as what I would normally run and have the same issue with the rear coming around again. But we managed to cure that, which is one positive as we tried all weekend and couldn’t. But now we have managed to improve that a little bit.”