30 August 2014
Marc VDS pushing for Redding-Honda MotoGP deal
"You can tell the British public that we need some help to put the best British rider on a Factory bike" - Michael Bartholemy, Marc VDS.
Marc VDS are facing a race against time to put together a package that could see Scott Redding return to the team on a Factory Honda in MotoGP next year.
Redding is spending an impressive rookie season on an Open class Honda at Gresini. The young Englishman was then due to take over the team's RC213V, currently used by Alvaro Bautista, in 2015.
But Gresini are facing funding issues regarding next year's Factory Honda and are also in talks with Aprilia about becoming its official MotoGP team.
It is against that backdrop that the Marc VDS squad, currently dominating the Moto2 World Championship, is seeking to acquire the Gresini RC213V and run Redding themselves.
Redding spent all four of his Moto2 seasons with Marc VDS, finishing title runner-up in 2013. At Silverstone on Saturday, Crash.net spoke to team principal and Redding's personal manager Michael Bartholemy on Saturday at Silverstone.
“It has to be this weekend,” replied Bartholemy, when asked about a deadline.
“I'm always optimistic... It is in our hands,” he added, indicating that the deal does not depend on the decision of any other teams.
But the big sticking point is securing funding at such short notice.
“The [RC213V] costs the same for me as for other people,” Bartholemy explained. “For me it is not important what the bike costs, the important thing is the amount that we are [currently] short. This is the biggest thing at the moment.”
It is not just the cost of the official Honda machinery, but also the additional expenses that come with a 'new' entry. “Yes... but it is normal. It's the same for everybody and we have to accept it.”
Bartholemy would not state exactly how short they are, only that: “You can tell the British public that we need some help to put the best British rider on a Factory bike.
“Even Marc [Marquez] has said, 'the only British guy who can do something is Scott Redding. He beat me in Moto2'.”
Asked about the possibility of returning to Marc VDS on a Factory Honda next year, Redding replied:
“There are a lot of rumours but I think that your guys know more about it than I do! My priority is to stay here at Gresini because we've done a great job this year and I think that we can do a great job next year as well.
“But my main priority is to be on a Factory [Honda] and if they can't give that to me I'll have to consider my options, because I need to keep going in my career and make podiums. It would be nice to stay here, they're a nice team and they've really supported me this year.”
As well as Gresini and Marc VDS, present Honda-backed teams Aspar and LCR are also sure to be interested in the fourth 2015 RC213V.
But would Redding consider staying at Gresini if they become the official Aprilia team?
“Probably not, it's a Factory bike but it's not competitive. If it's the last thing then I'll have to consider it, but my priority is to have a Factory Honda.”
Redding will start his home British MotoGP from twelfth on the grid, as the top Open class Honda.
UPDATE: HRC has extended the deadline for ordering the RC213V by two weeks, until Misano.
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