Catalunya WorldSBK test: Redding relishes lap-time duel with Rea

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Scott Redding put in some strong shifts at the Catalunya WorldSBK test, in hot conditions that he has never been a great fan of.

For a reward, he left second fastest after a final morning fight in relatively cooler conditions with five-time champion Jonathan Rea (KRT).

“I am quite happy for the test, it has been quite good to work with the bike and the tyres in the hot temperatures,” said triple podium man Redding at the first round in Australia – way back in early March.

“I did two race distances, one each day, which is quite hard going but I need to do the work I need to do if I want to be better on raceday. So, that is something that we can take way with us now.

“We did have an engine problem in the end so I could not go out and try to improve the lap time – that is the lap time I did directly after lunch when it was really hot. So I was quite happy that the guys could not beat it at the end. I wasn’t really focusing on a one-lap time, I was trying to work with the used tyres.”

His duel in the morning with Rea was some serious fun for both, it appears. “The second morning was quite fun,” said Scott. “Me and Johnny were kind of having a head-to-head but I think he put five tyres in! After I put three in I said to the guys, ‘OK, this is ridiculous!’ Every time I went out I want faster, then he would put in another tyre, and he used two Qs.

I just used the one. It was fun, and it was spicing up the thing. I thought, ‘OK, one of us is going to end up with a big crash, because we keep going faster, faster, faster.’

“And I wanted to remember for myself that the goal of today was to work in hot conditions and long runs. It was nice, but the work had to be done and we did that this afternoon. I am happy to go away from here and finalise a few things that we tested in Misano, come here and they are better, so we will keep them.”

Redding is growing in confidence every day, and feels the benefit of losing a few kilos during lockdown. “I feel good with the bike,” he stated. “I trust and believe in the bike so much. I start to ride at the limit where I start to close the front, I save it; I start to feel comfortable on that level, which is good.

“In the hot conditions which – in my past in GPs – I kinda struggled on hot tracks and I have really worked hard to help myself to make it better in those conditions. So I went out in those conditions where it is sliding and the bike is not really working that well but it is the same for everyone due to the conditions.

“It makes the team see that I really want to win and really want to put the hard work in not just talk about it. I am out there at the hottest part of the day doing a long run. Whether I like to do it or not, I am there doing it. To come away with it, every time I get on the bike I bond more with it. That is something I think is really good that I have with Ducati.”

Picture: GeeBee Images