12 September 2014
MotoGP Misano: Redding reacts to Gresini Aprilia deal
“I rode the Open bike to get the Factory bike. This was the contract and why I came. If it was just the Open bike I would have stayed in Moto2 and fought for a title” - Scott Redding.
Scott Redding finished a wet opening day at Misano in 13th, but with Gresini finally confirming their 2015 switch to Aprilia the main talking point was the Englishman's plans for next season.
Rookie Redding, the top Open class Honda rider, originally expected to step up to Gresini's Factory class Honda, but that is now officially impossible.
The 21-year-old must instead wait to find out which team can find the funds to take over the Gresini RC213V, with Marc VDS still looking most likely, while weighing up the potential of the new Aprilia project as a back-up.
Speaking in the paddock, Redding confirmed that a decision about his own future is close, possibly as soon as this weekend.
"It will be very soon," said Redding. "Now that it's official that they're moving to Aprilia it changes a lot for me. Tonight I'll start to sit down and look through the options that I have and maybe by the end of the weekend or middle of next week we could have a decision. I have to make it soon and it'll be tough for me to make it but we'll see what's coming out."
Redding's contract should have seen him secure the Factory Honda and Gresini's switch to Aprilia would presumably leave Redding in a position to leave the team without penalty.
When asked by Crash.net if he was now free to leave Gresini, Redding replied:
"Walking out is one thing and coming away with what I should do is another thing. The main thing for me is to have a competitive bike next year and Aprilia could possibly be competitive next year, the Honda is competitive so we'll have to see and I have to weigh up the situation. I have to go with the feeling in my stomach feeling and do what's best for my career.
"The switch to Aprilia means that Gresini didn't fulfil their contract for next year so there's some matters there that need to be solved. If I decide to go with Aprilia it will be here but where does that leave me? I'm in the same team but with a different manufacturer and that's not something that I really want to do but I have to consider my future and not just my feelings. We'll see tonight and check all the main points [about each offer] and then make a decision."
Aprilia's involvement for next year has been long touted but their development path unclear, some suggesting only an upgraded pneumatic valve engine for 2015. However there is increased speculation in Italy that the Noale company will also introduce a seamless shift gearbox and a range of other upgraded engine and chassis parts.
If so, the Aprilia should be a more competitive proposition. However for Redding it's clear that his main priority is to be in a position to challenge for the championship in the next few years and the 2015 Factory class Honda was the carrot that made him jump to MotoGP rather than try and win a world title in Moto2.
"Two years' time could change anything and if we could challenge for a title in 2016 or 2017 with Aprilia it would be amazing but if I don't make results and I'm left without a ride who would take me? I have to think about the future and not now. This is the reason that I came here on the Open bike which did nothing special for me this year and I rode the Open bike to get the Factory bike. This was the contract and why I came.
"If it was just for the Open bike I would have stayed in Moto2 and fought for a title and then came back with another ride. As the situation is now I need to re-evaluate and I need to fight for a title in years to come but sooner than later. I'm 21 and they say that you're still young but actually you have eight years left and that's not a lot of time."
Gresini and Aprilia are yet to announce any riders, although Marco Melandri is expected to return from WSBK to the one of the seats. Asked if staying and developing the Aprilia was something that he felt he could do, Redding said:
"It depends on the rider. If you asked me at the beginning if I could develop a bike I would have said no way and I wouldn't have put my foot forward. Now though I'm in a situation where I'm comfortable, like I was in Moto2, and I feel like I could develop a bike and make it happen with Aprilia but I don't think that it's a risk that I really want to take at this point in my career."
The fortunes of Gresini have fallen in recent years - their last race win was with Toni Elias at the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2006 - and with the financial strain of securing a Factory Honda clearly starting to make things impossible for the team they were left with no option but to look for support from a different manufacturer.
Given the difficulties faced by Gresini, Redding admitted that while team owner Fausto Gresini had no alternative but to switch manufacturers, he was frustrated that it has taken until now to confirm their plans:
"I think that the decision that Fausto made wasn't his decision. It came down to finances for the team and the Honda is a very expensive bike whereas he can have the Aprilia who will help him. I think that he was pushed into the decision financially because there's no point saying that 'I can buy a bike' when you can't afford it.
“I wouldn't say that it's a decision that he wanted to make in the beginning, and I can't blame him for that, but I wish that he had told me months before that this was the decision that he was going to make. But this is the decision and I think that Aprilia can be competitive and he's made the right decision for him at the moment."
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.