Phillip Island WorldSBK test: ‘I was born to fight’ – Redding

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Scott Redding and his factory Aruba Ducati were inside the top six after the final pre-season test of his rookie WorldSBK season.

He is clearly ready to get stuck into his new role when the racing starts at Phillip Island and will pull no punches when it comes to taking on champion Jonathan Rea and the rest of the pack.

“I was born to fight, that is the main thing; that is what I like about racing. Coming from BSB is a place you battle the most with guys, they are savages, and it is the same here,” Redding told bikesportnews.com.

“Toprak also fights hard, van der Mark, Rea, so if there is going to be a fight I am willing to get involved in the battle. That makes good racing for me. It is better than taking ten seconds and cruising around for the rest.”

Maybe more important than being in the leading mix is being the top Ducati rider? For Redding, absolutely right.

I am happy to be the fastest Ducati. That is the first goal. The first thing is to beat your team-mate, the second is to be fastest on the same bike, because maybe some things we are struggling with but maybe I am overriding it better than some of the other guys.

“Like I say, with those guys having that one lap faster, with Kawasaki or Yamaha, that can affect in the races. All different manufacturers make different strategies. That what I said in Jerez at the tests, when Jonathan was so much faster - do not even bother to look because we know the bike is so fast there in cold conditions.

“Then when you come back in the race it kind of slows up. So sometimes you have got to just focus on what your are doing and not get too lost in what other guys are doing. I have done that through all the tests.

“I have kept an eye on a couple of guys see what they are doing, see if that are doing long runs, just to get information. But we are not going to see until Saturday, when the lights go out.”

Given that Redding was a MotoGP man for some time before he took to the BSB championship and won it first time out, he explained how his Panigale V4R feels different from a bona fide GP bike at a track he knows well like PI.

“It is a little bit easier because it is not trying to rip your head off the whole time,” he said. “It is a bit more stable and bit easier to manage. Actually not having so much wind is nice, first time I have ridden here with no wind. But we were comparing data with Alvaro’s and with him being just under 30kg lighter than I was, he gained a big advantage in the straights.

“It is probably enjoyable when you have that in the pocket. PI is one of my favourite tracks I just find the bumps are quite aggressive here, off-line – I do not know if the other guys complained about it all.

“But for me it was quite aggressive. But it is fun, I quite enjoyed to ride this bike and even when I jumped on it last year I though this was a nice bike for me to push.”

His V4 Ducati has a lot of MotoGP DNA, or at least blueprints with GP fingerprints all over them. But does it make it easier to transition to for an old MotoGP rider?

“It feels kind of like a MotoGP bike, has that kind of similar engine effect, but it still has two wheels – it is bike at the end of the day but having that V4 engine, make sit probably easier not having to transfer to an inline four which is probably requires a different riding style,” said Redding. “So, maybe it has been easier for me to adapt than guys who have come from a Superbike onto a V4.”

Redding’s first go at WorldSBK points’ scoring will take place on Saturday in race one at Phillip Island.