WorldSBK Most: ‘Where do you draw the line?’ - Redding

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Picture: GeeBee Images

After his Donington podium, BMW’s Scott Redding had another strong ride in WorldSBK race one at Most, which is a very different kind of circuit.

All the new parts and settings that BMW and Redding used so effectively in the UK took him to seventh in Superpole but third in the race, and it could have been second had he not been ‘Topraked’ in the final few laps.

It was amazing to see the white BMW move forward so effectively, but two things helped.
Rea and Razgatlioglu fighting for the lead rather than following their own class leading pace - with Bautista just behind. That slowed them both up a bit. But when the light rain started to fall on the rider’s visors, that was the key moment for Redding.

“I think I’ve got to thank the rain a little bit for that,” he stated after the action subsided. “In them conditions, you just got to put your balls on the line. I don’t have anything to lose. I was pushing and I thought, ‘if I crash, I went down trying.’ I was catching, catching, and I thought, ‘this is working. Keep going, keep going.’ Then I got onto the back of them and I thought, ‘do I get involved with their championship or do I kind of stay around here? I don’t really want to interrupt so much’. Then I thought, ‘fuck it. I feel like I’ve got some pace, so let’s go’.”

After such a disastrous start to the season, being in the mix for a race win just six rounds in felt bizarre to Redding at one stage. But Redding’s memories of a great race finish were clouded by what he saw as too much aggression in the wrong place from one of his rivals.

“I passed Toprak and I thought, ‘that feels weird’. I passed Jonathan and I thought, ‘that felt really weird’. But it was good. I had a lot of adrenaline in the race because I was catching, spitting, and I was just on the limit everywhere. I thought I did enough. I defended really well the first half of the laps. I saw Toprak was behind me, so I knew he was going to try, obviously. I defended really well and then he passed me into 13, down the hill.

“I was really thinking he won’t try to pass me there because it’s the most dangerous corner on the whole calendar we have. I would not overtake there, just for a safety reason.

“There’s twenty other corners we can try to pass, but there is a bit on the limit. When I tipped in, he was there and he was not stopping. He puts me off the track. Where is the line? Where do you draw the line for the overtakes? So, I thought, ‘okay, third. That’s good enough’. I was a bit pissed, but I thought, ‘let’s go’. Then all of a sudden, I hear another bike (Rea) coming. I’m like, ‘Oh, no. Don’t do this.’ Come past me. I thought, ‘no. Do I? Don’t I? Do I? Don’t I?’ I was like, ‘fuck it!’ Just rolled the gas late. He tried to pass me again. It was the same thing again. I was like, ‘do I, don’t I?’ I was thinking, ‘you have nothing to lose’. He’s thinking he has more to lose than me. So, I just kind of committed to it at the end.

“I thought he would have had a go, Jonathan, into the last two, but I defended it quite well. But really happy with the progress that we’ve made. After Donington, people say, ‘is it just the track?’ I said before that when you change stuff, it normally sticks. That was an important point for me to show.”

Redding and Razgatlioglu were deep in conversation on the slow-down lap, and not in a happy way, with Redding even pushing his rival’s bike away, gently and without malice, but it seemed to signal the end of their conversation.

“Yeah. I said, ‘Come on.’ I said, ‘Where is the limit?’ The wall was ten meters from there, and I had this much of the green left. If I was in the gravel at that speed, it wasn’t a good ending. This is what I’m thinking at the moment, but he isn’t. I had the same with him last year when he passed me into the last two corners so late. Here it’s a great circuit, but the safety is on the limit.”
When asked what Razgatlioglu replied, Redding said, “He said, ‘Sorry, the rear was sliding.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but fucking hell. Me and my life are on the outside of you. More conservative than your tyre.’ I don’t know.

“We know he’s aggressive in overtaking. I don’t mind aggressive overtaking, but in some places it’s just like, I wish he would just think.

“Try and overtake me in the next corner like you did last year. I’d prefer if you’d hit me - at least I have space - than somewhere where the margin for error is really small. I just took it on the chin because I will start to ride in that way. I am riding in that way, but it will have to be more, until somebody says, ‘This is the line on overtaking.’

“I don’t have anything to lose, so if you’re going to keep running me off the track and you’re fighting for a championship and I run you off the track, then you come and complain… You know. Sometimes should be a little bit smarter than to make aggressive moves, but in the end he finished second and made it stick. It was nice. I enjoyed it.”