2 June 2014
Italy MotoGP: Redding breaks screen, suffers on speed
“It's hard not to have the horsepower to make a better result” - Scott Redding.
One of the taller MotoGP riders, on one of the slowest bikes, the last thing Scott Redding needs is to hurt his aerodynamics by breaking the screen on his Production Honda.
But that's what happened during Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, leaving the young Englishman in an even more one-sided fight against some Factory class Ducatis at a circuit with the highest top speeds of the year.
Redding's peak speed over the Mugello weekend was 17km/h below the slowest Ducati, even with the screen intact, putting him on a par with the PBM machines.
The rookie finished the race in 13th place, but fourth out of a close pack of five riders headed by the Desmosedicis of Yonny Hernandez and Michele Pirro.
“I was battling Hernandez and every time he went by on the straights,” said Redding. “It was quite frustrating because I had about three-tenths in my pocket before the straight. It was hard to keep pushing through all the other sectors, and overtaking, just for them to pass me again on the straight.
“Then coming out of turn 11 I had a miss-shift and broke the screen. That was only on lap nine [of 23] so there were a lot of laps with no screen. That was shit for aero and there were a lot more wheelies. We managed to keep pushing to the end.”
Adding to Redding's disappointment was that he lost out on top Open Honda honours by just 0.008s to Karel Abraham on the very final lap.
“I'm disappointed a little bit because Abraham beat me to the line. If I could have got through the Ducatis and just had two laps ahead of them maybe I could have been in the top ten. But we weren't and we have to accept that,” he said.
“Apart from that the race was good. It's just a bit annoying when you keep getting overtaken on the straight.
“Pirro was passing me and putting maybe five to eight bike lengths and then I was out-braking him on the outside and overtaking him again. It's a joke really to be racing with people who are braking so early. I was thinking 'the only reason you are racing with me is because of the straights'. It's hard to not have the horsepower to make a better result.
“It wouldn't have been such a big problem, but here with such a long straight and also being Ducati's home circuit, their level is a little bit higher. Aleix Espargaro [Forward Yamaha] could just hold off the Ducati if he had a bit of a gap. I had no chance. He came past me like they did.
“It's frustrating because you know you could do more, but with the power you've got you can't.”
Asked if data shows exactly how much time he is losing on the straight compared with team-mate Alvaro Bautista on the Factory class Honda - whose best Mugello top speed was 19.5km/h quicker than Redding - the former Moto2 title contender replied:
“I reckon I lose about 0.4-0.5s down the straight compared to Alvaro. The Ducati would be a little bit more. Through the last corner I was going around the outside of Hernandez and my face was right by his exhaust, hoping he doesn't have a moment, but even then he was just pulling away.
“It could be the same next time at Barcelona, with the two long straights. We'll see how it pans out. This weekend the Ducati could use the soft tyre and had quite an advantage with the soft tyre and top speed. Hopefully we can use the soft tyre and they can't in Barcelona.”
Although in the Factory class, Ducati are currently allowed the same performance benefits as the Open riders, including the softer rear tyre and more race fuel.
Redding is fourth in the Open class standings, but only two points behind Aspar riders Nicky Hayden (injured) and Hiroshi Aoyama. Aoyama finished one place behind Redding at Mugello.
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