Scott Redding was three tenths and three positions off his stated target of top Open Honda rider Nicky Hayden in today's qualifying for the French MotoGP.

The Englishman, who won the Moto2 race at Le Mans last year, struggled in Friday practice - but found improvements in his set-up on Saturday, giving him hope of a stronger performance in Sunday's 27 lap race.

Speaking exclusively to, Gresini Honda rider Redding said:

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"We lost one tenth in the first sector, one tenth in the second and one tenth in third compared to Nicky so it wasn't really too bad after struggling this weekend again.

"We've now found something with which I can work with the bike and progress, but that was in FP4 and qualifying so it was probably a bit too late. We've closed the gap to Nicky again though so hopefully in the race we can maintain the same thing."

When asked what his chances were of battling with Hayden, Redding admitted that it was still his goal but that he'll need to be able to get the maximum from his bike to do so:

"If I can really push I think that we can try and go with Nicky and that's what I want to try and do and I'll try all the race to be there."

It has been an impressive start to the season for Redding with lots of positives to take from his move into the premier class. Speaking about the progress that he has made this year Redding said that the biggest challenge has been overcoming a lack of track time and experience on the bike:

"It's been progressive but it's also been difficult. You're learning a track every weekend. At Qatar we had a test but at every other race we've had FP1, FP2, FP3 and FP4 and that's it. So you have to work with the electronics, suspension, engine and tyres in such a short amount of time which makes it more difficult for me."