Portimao WorldSBK test: Redding ‘understanding pace on new and used rubber’

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Scott Redding’s appearance in WorldSBK has been welcomed by all as a breath of fresh and bracing air, and he was again fast and in the mix among his new peer group at Portimao.

He was not happy with some aspects of his second day in Portugal - and is really fed up with being asked about the Honda - but made good showings all the same on race and qualifying rubber.

“It was a good day but it was one of those days where it didn’t really flow,” he told bikesportnews.com. “Yesterday everything just flew and went nice. Clear track, etc. There were a few more people waiting around today, I kept catching up to a couple of 600s.

“Four red flags in a row. Every time I went out with a new tyre, just to get used to it, it felt like there was a red flag. Four laps, six laps, eight laps… Then after last red flag I went out and the bike cut out down the straight.

“Again, it was like ‘come on I need rhythm.’ I was already quite tired from yesterday and it took the lunch break for me to recharge and feel better, to be fair.”

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Redding worked through set-up and development parts today as well as going for a time later on using a Q. “We spent the day confirming some more things and that was important because this isn’t maybe the strongest place for Ducati anyway. The guys kept reminding me to keep my head on and that this is a ‘Yamaha-type track’ which you can see from the times. But in general I’m happy. I made P2 with the same time as first and I made a little mistake on my best lap, so I am happy.”

Redding said of his final day’s main workload, “I spent most of the day working on race tyres. I tried to use the SCX tyre today and didn’t find it that beneficial but it was good to get the knowledge of using it. Overall we got a lot of work done and I know the package that we’ll go to Australia with and start with that knowing that I can be fast with it.”

Redding resorted to a Q tyre for his fastest time, and he thought others did as well.

I used the Q-tyre at the end like everyone else. I think a few guys used it early in the day and that’s the thing with this tyre during testing. You have to look at how many laps people are doing so you can think ‘that’s a Q’ and some are using the SCX tyre.

“It’s hard to know what people are doing and it can mind-fuck you a little bit, and think you have to come from eight tenths back, but really it’s that they used a qualifier.

“I’m doing my best to just focus on myself and my job. I was keeping an eye on what the other guys were doing but I wasn’t really taking it on board. I was improving on new tyres and used tyres and understanding. We came strong in the end.”

Redding has obviously had enough questions about the new Honda, as he said after being seen running for a couple of laps behind Bautista, “I honestly don’t know why people keep asking me about the Honda because I don’t give a fuck. It is irrelevant to me. I’m competing against it and it’s too new to see but it’s a missile on the straights.

“It’s really fast but when you follow someone in testing you do not know what tyre they have on? What are they trying? You don’t know their programme so that’s why it’s not relevant. It looks good, sounds good and is fast in the straight.” He grinned at the end, then said “Don’t ask me any more questions about it.”