Catalunya WorldSBK test: Redding focused on high-temperature tyre wear

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Aruba Ducati’s Scott Redding led the first day of testing at Catalunya, in the first all-out test at a new WorldSBK host venue for the top riders in this year’s championship fight.

He knows it well, and was – like the rest of them – happy to get back out again after a recent test at Misano.

With changing track temperatures Catalunya was a fickle beast for him at times on day one, despite setting the best lap of 1’41.727. This placed him 0.187 seconds up on KRT rider Jonathan Rea, with one day to go.

“The track conditions changed quite a lot today which was different – for me – on all the tests we have done so far. A lot of it in the winter had cooler track conditions,” said Redding.

“PI was not too hot, except in the last race, and Misano was hot but there was a lot of grip. It was a good learning day for us, to be honest. We did a long run in the middle of the day.

“It was hot, it was long, but it was the work that we had to do. At the end of the day we managed to do another longish run and improve the lap time again, just due to the track, so that I could understand. We have to race here and we tested a few parts on my bike from what we learned at Misano.

“Here we more for me about riding and trying to see the bike on hot conditions on Pirelli tyres. It is still new to me.”

Catalunya on a Superbike was different for Redding from his times in MotoGP. “Coming back here there are some memories of MotoGP, which is nice. But it is about Superbike time and again today we proved we are strong.

We confirmed the new bike and the old bike today and for me I tried the harder tyre today. That is the new thing for us as Ducati always stays with the softer option. I wanted to do my work and try the harder one. We got time so I wanted to use that in a way because I want to understand something. That was it, nothing new today.

“At the end of the long run, it was a bit of a weird thing because I dunno if it is better or worse. That was a bit of a problem really which means I have to do another long run tomorrow with the soft tyre. Which I don’t really want to do. We are here as a job and to work at it – it is not that I don’t want to – I will do it. I feel it wears better.”

Redding got a bit more specific as to why he feels the need to try another path in tyre options.

“I do not like the look of my front tyre after some laps compared to the other guys,” he said. “But can I put that aside and trust my instinct and feeling? Or am I more safe and comfortable with the harder one. That is what is going through my head. We need to just figure out a little bit more tomorrow. I put the soft in again at the end and it was a little bit better, but the track temperature got a little bit better too.”

The field has one more day at Catalunya before the season restarts for real, at Jerez, right at the end of July, with racedays on August 1 and 2.