Scott Redding was pleased to set a time just eight tenths of a second off the fastest lap at the Valencia MotoGP test, as he continues to adjust to his new Pramac Ducati machinery.
Using Michele Pirro's GP15 machine with the new spec electronics on both days, Redding experimented with head angles and linkages to acquaint himself to Michelin tyres and the added grunt of the Ducati.
Thirteenth fastest on day two, the 22-year old had just the one bike to play with as new team-mate Danilo Petrucci also sampled the GP15. Because of this, Redding was mindful not to crash, and asserted himself at “about 80 percent” to prevent any falls.
“Today I think I was probably riding at about 80 percent of my limit. We have one bike. If I go and destroy it I was either not going to test for the rest of the day or lose at least half a day.
“For me at the moment it's important to try and get the laps under my belt and to try and understand the bike. When I go for the lap time I want to go in hard but just to go on the safe side. When I start to push more we can forget about that. We'll have two bikes and we'll be under away.
“Today was quite good. We tried a few more things on the bike. We tried some different linkage which was, I'm not sure better, we put it in with the new tyre and I couldn't improve the lap time. We went back to the old linkage and we went faster with the old tyre.
“We're slowly starting to cross off the things that are good for me and that aren't good for me. In general the feeling is not bad. We improved the front grip which we struggled with yesterday. Again when I push again faster we have the same kind of feeling [that's] a bit strange. Sometimes you get a skidding on the front. Other times it's just hard to put the bike in. It depends how you're loading the tyres.”
Redding described the new electronics as “good out of the box” on Tuesday and in terms of tyre endurance he was pleasantly surprised.
“I was putting 27 laps on the tyre and from the fastest lap and there [on the 27th lap] was 0.9 of a second. I didn't drop too much the lap time. Actually I felt quite good compared to last year. I've said I've got more tyre endurance.
“Lap time wise I would like to have been two tenths faster, which I think I could have done if we didn't change the linkage at the time. In general I'm quite happy. All the time I was alone. I didn't really follow anyone so for me to understand the bike and to do it myself is a good way to work. In each test we'll try and improve to get closer and closer.”
Speaking of his initial impressions of the Pramac Ducati outfit, Redding feels comfortable in his new surroundings and has already established good communication lines with new crew chief Giacomo Guidotti.
“There's not one thing I'd change to go back [to Marc VDS Honda]. Every thing in every area is definitely better from my perspective. I think I'll have a good season. All the guys are great and we're already working well. Even with Giacamo we have communication, which is good and the feeling with the test is great.”
From Valencia Redding will enjoy a short break before testing resumes in Jerez at the close of November. In the 2013 Moto2 runner-up's eyes, having more time to understand the new package beneath him before the winter testing ban is vital.
“Always getting laps on the bike is important. Going to Jerez I have two – maybe three – days testing which is always nice. We have so many days testing I said we'd rather do them at the beginning of the year so I can understand the bike more and how it reacts.
“We'll also go to a different circuit. We've been here for the race weekend with the Bridgestones. I've changed the bike and I've changed the tyres, the electronics and the team. There has been a lot of change so it will be nice to start fresh, have a bit of a rest again and go back to Jerez and start again.”