27 March 2015
MotoGP Losail: Front end posing problems for Redding
'Our lap time doesn't look too bad, but then you see the position is 12th, and that doesn't look so good. But then we're only 0.6s from Marc' - Scott Redding
Scott Redding has been striving to make gains with the front end of his EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda after struggling for grip in FP1 and FP2.
The British rider made some progress during FP3 as he finished in 12th place after making some changes to the front but is still not completely satisfied.
Redding's quickest lap of 1m 55.447s left him only 0.6s behind Marc Marquez but given how close the times were in FP3, it was only good enough for a provisional fourth row start on the RC213V.
“Yesterday and this morning (FP2) the bike wasn't good, we were struggling with front and rear grip... just wasn't the same as the test, we were struggling. And then this afternoon (FP3) we made some changes to try to get some front confidence back,” Redding said.
“The front was the biggest issue more than the rear, and we managed to get the front confidence, which also gave us more rear grip, so we managed to kind of take a few steps to get a bit closer. The feeling was definitely better, we still have to improve it.
“Our lap time doesn't look too bad, but then you see the position is 12th, and that doesn't look so good. But then we're only 0.6s from Marc,” he added.
“It's quite frustrating, because I saw the lap time, and thought, that'll put me around top eight, you know? And then I came in and saw P12, and I was like, hell, it must be really close out there.”
Redding didn't attempt to run behind any of the riders who were running the soft tyre, opting instead to maximise his time on track.
“To be honest I was on my own again. I didn't have any time to waste on waiting for someone or seeing, because I was so far off the pace I needed to get the laps in and see if we could make the bike better, and in the end we did,” he said.
“Normally, I'm quite good here, but it's just so close this year, when you see 0.6, if you took half a second, you would be top three. It's very, very close. And actually I'm only 0.3 off until the last sector, and then I lose 0.4.
“So we know where we have to work a bit more, and I think also these guys with the soft tyre, with the Ducatis and the Suzukis and the [Open] Honda, the Honda is not slow, I mean it's given them guys a lot more competitive edge in a one lap tyre,” he added.
Redding doesn't expect many riders to opt for the harder rear tyre in Sunday's race and is anticipating a close race for the duration.
“There is a big drop after say two or three laps by just about half a second, but I think this race will be difficult, because I don't think many of us will be going to use the harder rear tyre,” he said.
“So I guess the open class guys will use the medium, so I think it will be quite a close race all the way through.”
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