WorldSBK Misano: Redding ‘improved feeling but not performance’

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

A combination of his team-mate, a determined Toprak Razgatlioglu and his 2020 nemesis Jonathan Rea kept Scott Redding in fourth place in each of the three WorldSBK races at Ducati’s home circuit of Misano.

By the standards of a man who has already won two races in the season, it looked like another hard day at the office: “Yeah, definitely would have been better at the beach this weekend, that’s for sure,” said Redding.

Redding actually found different issues from the first raceday on Saturday, but still issues that held him back simply too much to challenge. “Different, is the word,” he said. “We improved the feeling but probably didn’t improve the performance. So there were some benefits and not so much benefits. But it was just tough. It was just hard. We just never really got that feeling that we normally have with the bike. I just had to manage it from there.”

Even in the short race Redding was chasing somewhat. “Yeah, the short race I couldn’t go with them in the beginning, but then I could close a little bit towards the end. So I thought ‘for Race Two if I can just hold them in the beginning I’ll be able to come back a little bit,’ but I was able to stay with them and I think I used a little bit too much tyre.

Behind three bikes my front tyre temperature was going up. In one moment I had a bit of tyre drop, then I couldn’t turn. Maybe you see on the TV many times they were turning back and I was still going wide. I could never get a good exit. Then one thing led to another and I just had to kind of settle for what I could get this weekend.”

Even a local privateer, albeit a full-time WorldSBK rider for 2020 in his rookie year, Axel Bassani, was six and then seventh on Sunday. That must have made things even more disappointing for Redding.

“Maybe local track knowledge is a bit of a helping hand around here,” said Redding, with just cause. “Since it’s at your home race, it’s always a little helping hand anyway. But sure, he was riding well. Sure, he had some good feeling, but then Chaz not feeling great by the looks of it. Rabat a little bit worse than normal. So I think it’s one of those with the Ducati.

“A bit of styles making a bigger difference to the performance, because Rinaldi was fast. Saw in the warmup 33.7. It’s one tenth slower than he did with the Q tyre. It’s kind of like sometimes. For us it was that ballpark of not working. And it wasn’t everywhere. Just a couple of key places that I was just really trying everything to stay with them and I just couldn’t. Then as the race went on I started to risk more.

“Then I thought, is it worth to risk to crash out now, or try and just keep the pace and stay fourth? I knew I wasn’t going to win the race after we started to lose the pace, so I had to settle for fourth and just bring it home and go back to the drawing board and understand why we’re struggling. That’s just the hard part, because we don’t know why. Is it my weight with this bike that’s making a difference? Is it the new setup we got? Is it the new SCX tire? Is it multiple things?

We could go to Donington and it be all sweet again. Would be nice. Could go to Donington and have the same problems, which I hope not to have.”

Concerns are being expressed in some quarters that now Ducati is in the third year on this bike and Redding is still having issues, you’d think Ducati would know where to go with set-up, even if conditions change?

Redding replied to this idea with, “Talking about it from outside you’d say yes, but being in the team, being with the manufacturer is always different. Nobody can really go, ‘OK, that’s the issue, that’s what we need to fix it.’ Because it changes different tracks, different temperatures, different riders, different tyres… But, on the same hand, you would like to understand which direction to go in.

“We understood that this weekend. We did something quite different and we understood where to go to give the bike a more settled feeling for me. The problem was the performance didn’t come with it. That is now what we need to work on. If it’s like this, this is more easy for me to ride, should I say. But I need more performance from the tyres.”