Reigning Bennetts British Superbike Champion Scott Redding has revealed he was ready to throw in the towel at the end of the 2018 season after his final year in MotoGP went from bad to worse.
The Briton had moved from Honda to Ducati to Aprilia in the premier class but wasn’t able to make the RS-GP work for him. He was so worn down that he was on the verge of quitting the sport - until his manager got him a ride in BSB with the Paul Bird Ducati team.
“I was over it, I didn’t want to race anymore. I was 25 and thinking ‘I’m done with this sport’. It wasn’t giving me anything in my life; I didn’t feel happy and I didn’t feel like I was succeeding. I’ll try to do something else, that was my vision,” said Redding.
” Burnout is a good way of putting it, because there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no future to go forward. I was just struggling, suffering, really hating it. And it just kind of wore me down.
I’d come from fighting for a world title in Moto2, which I lost due to injury. That hurt me enough, but I had a new challenge to go to MotoGP and trying to be World Champion was my goal, it’s what I believed I could do. But I just felt at the wrong place, at the wrong time from there on in. Everywhere I went to, it was not the right time.
Aprilia was like that last stab at it. A factory team, the bike the year before wasn’t too bad… But it was all the same. When I went there, they changed the bike, or they changed some rules or whatever, and suddenly the bike didn’t work. It just wore me down, knowing that there’s something that can be better, but I can’t get it.”
Redding took the title by five points from team-mate Josh Brookes and secured himself a works ride in WorldSBK with the Ducati team alongside Chaz Davies.
“That kind of kickstarted me again, emotionally. I got that fire for winning again,” he said.
I didn’t go there thinking that I needed to finish in the top five. I needed to win. A lot of people thought: ‘Well, that’s it, Scott’s finished, he ain’t gonna manage them tracks, he ain’t gonna do this’. I’m still that kid from Gloucester. If I need to race, I’ll do the best I can.
“It was the first time in my career that something actually went to plan. It was an amazing feeling that fired me up to come into World Superbike and try to do the same thing here.
“Now I do see that I have a longer career. And the experiences I have had in the past, even the hard times, are going to come into my strength in this paddock.”