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Scott Redding - Q&A

Scott Redding speaks exclusively with following his eye-catching MotoGP debut in Qatar with Go&Fun Gresini Honda.
Fresh from his run to seventh position in his first-ever MotoGP race with Go&Fun Gresini Honda, Scott Redding sits down with to reflect on that performance, his amended targets for the season and his hopes for Honda's much discussed RCV1000R...
Congratulations on your run to seventh place in your first MotoGP race – how pleased were you with the result?

Scott Redding:
I'm really happy. I'm not really chuffed with the seventh position because there were many fallers in the race and I know that wouldn't have happened if they all stayed on, but I'll take the progress form beating Nicky Hayden, that was the biggest buzz for me, the team and everyone. I think the people that watch the race understand it's not about being P7, but about being in front of that No.69. I didn't expect to beat him in the race… I expected him to not go too far but I thought he'd pull a gap over the race. Then I realised in the race I had a chance to beat this guy.
Was it a result you felt you were capable of before the race?

Scott Redding:
I'd have been satisfied with beating Aoyama and staying on the back of Nicky for 5 to 10 laps. I would have been happy with that and think the team would have been happy with that. Our target before the weekend was to get points and to close the gap to Nicky. If I'd finished ten seconds behind Nicky, then next weekend it will be eight, five, four… but that went all out the window when I closed the one second gap and then I beat him. Now the target has changed and the aim is to stay in front of him.
Does this change how you are going to approach the season and do you think these are results you are capable of each weekend?

Scott Redding:
It's hard to say, because we need more power. Now I have more confidence. I learnt a lot from Nicky and I appreciate being able to race like that. I saw some pictures from the test and the race, and my riding style was quite a lot different and I changed a lot by the end of the race and it helped with the handling, braking and turning… All this is new and I have so much to learn in such a short space of time. I have to prove a point if I want to get a good bike next year.
You signed a two-year deal with Honda – what does entail for you looking ahead to 2015?

Scott Redding:
We got a two year deal, but I can't be finishing as the last Honda and expecting to get a factory bike. I need to be the top Honda to get that bike and work for it, and I think I have started well, I just have maintain that and show to Honda that I will put the work in, I have the talent and I have the fight and fire in me to achieve the results. It would be a bike like Bautista is on. All of the Hondas are the same, except Bautista's bike has Showa suspension and Nissin brakes. They might turn around and say I've done a really good job and that I can fight with Marc Marquez, here is a nice orange bike! I would really like that but even if I do well and they give me a bike like Bautista's, that bike is still capable of podiums, so that would be my next challenge until I step to the factory team and push for a title.
How have you found the transition to MotoGP? Do you feel better suited to a more powerful machine?

Scott Redding:
I enjoy it more, because I am at a big disadvantage. OK, I am at a disadvantage with the factory bikes and with Nicky in the race he was pulling away a bit in the race with the weight, but nowhere near as much as before. I enjoyed it for once! I enjoy racing but I always wondered why I was at a disadvantage, always fighting at the limit. I know how easy it was for the guys to beat me last year [in Moto2]. All they had to do was sit behind me and save their tyres, whereas I'm fighting the thing the whole way. It's made me a better rider, but I can relax and enjoy it more now. I really enjoy this bike, I have a stronger front tyre, brakes, electronics if I need them…
From a racing perspective, is it nice to break away from Moto2 knowing its formula concept meant other factors, like weight, made things more difficult for you?

Scott Redding:
Yes and no. I like battling and having fights, and it makes the race go quicker! In MotoGP there is more to think about, so laps go anyway, but I still had a little battle out there. With these bikes, when you overtake on this, it's like doing 5 on a Moto2 bike. It's really on edge!
Are you enjoying working with the Gresini team?

Scott Redding:
The team is really good: A bit different and relaxed. With Belgian people or English people, 10 is 10, but with Italians 10 is 10.30, so it's hard to change to. But from a riding side they are really good and I'm working well with the new crew and settling in nicely. I still get the support from the VDS team and they were on the pit wall cheering and clapping after the race, so that touched home a little bit. In the beginning I was struggling with the bike and the braking, so I wasn't enjoying it, but one moment something clicked and I understood the bike. Then the ball started rolling, it got bigger and now it has some motion.
You had the chance to test in Doha before the race, so how are you feeling about getting a handle on the bike during a regular race weekend, starting with Austin.

Scott Redding:
Nicky has the same bike as me so it's the same disadvantage. The test in Doha helped because it's the little things, like the electronics, where you have to go in-out, in-out, in-out to try five or six different things in just one run, but once you get a base setting it won't be so bad. Texas will be interesting for us because we probably have to use our hard tyre since it was destroying tyres last year so the soft won't stand a chance. It'll be a different challenge to make the hard tyre work.
You mentioned it previously and Hayden has been vocal about it as well, but how significant is the power disadvantage?

Scott Redding:
Nicky can be vocal because he has experienced something else. I am the little guy about 'this big' in the world of racing, so I need to keep my mouth quiet and get on with what I do. Nicky has experience of a factory bike, he knows what it is like. I've tested a Ducati so I know the power difference, but I am not a big enough person to say 'that's what's wrong with it'. I'm 21 years of age, so I'll shut up and ride the bike. Until you start getting results, you can start pushing for things. If we can get more power, we can start to get results.
How much potential is there in the bike?

Scott Redding:
We need power. You can see it, everyone can see it. It's not just us saying it. We lose .5/6 on the straight in Qatar. Every straight where you're changing two shifts, you're losing 0.2, so when you add that up in Qatar it's like 1.2secs. However, when you look at sector three in Qatar from turn ten to fourteen, I was only 0.2 slower than the fastest guy through there because it was just corner speed. I can't doubt the bike for the handling side, but we just lose on the power. Espargaro has Crutchlow's bike from last year with a softer tyre and more fuel, so you can expect him to be at the front. If you give me Bautista's bike from last year with a softer tyre and more fuel, I would beat Bautista. But we need to sit tight and I'll say it's the race of the Hondas. Honda know what they're doing, so as long as I stay in front of Nicky, that's all I'm worried about.
Nicky said over the race weekend that he is already limited to 22 litres as the bike doesn't hold any more than that – is this correct?

Scott Redding:
The tank holds 22.2 litres of fuel. I don't understand why when we can run 24. For something that doesn't cost a lot of money to make a bigger fuel tank and give us the advantage of more fuel, I don't know what happened there. They are changing it though, but it is what it is and we had to save fuel in the race, which was a new experience for me. If they bring a bigger tank and that's another step closer to the front pack.
You're here as a Bennetts ambassador in support of its grassroots racing programme. How important is it to nurture talent in this country, particularly pushing them in the GP paddock where Spanish and Italian riders dominate?

Scott Redding:
It's hard but it can be done. Support and money… that's' the problem, no-one has money to do it. In England there isn't much publicity so no-one wants to put their stickers on the bike to publicise their company because they get nothing back from it. There is no use publicising an English company in Spain… it's like publicising Repsol in England when Repsol don't have fuel stations here. BT Sport is helping and Bennetts are looking for younger riders, so it's good to build a relationship young. I wish I had something like that when I was a bit younger, so every advantage is a big advantage at such a young age. Help from Bennetts and Neil [Hodgson] will be great. Look at Joe Francis… I was impressed with his riding and he was fighting all the way, so it's great Bennetts gave him a chance and even without the best bike he still dug deep and won the British championship.
What advice will you be giving them?

Scott Redding:
They need to enjoy it but don't take it for a ride. I have seen many riders lose it because they think it is just fun. Make the hard work away from the track, but enjoy the riding. Believe in yourself, have self-confidence and never back down in a race.

Tagged as: Honda , Scott Redding

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March 28, 2014 10:09 AM

Some were saying he's to cocky arrogant etc. I don't see it though he has confidence and the belief in himself to succeed. Just ask Rossi about the mental game of GP. Beating Hayden on his GP debut is an excellent achievement and top rcv1000r he's gotten off to a good brilliant start I hope to see him at least on a bike like Baustistas.

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