Scott Redding got his first taste of riding his new Pramac Ducati in the wet during a showery start to the official MotoGP test at Phillip Island, Australia.
The Englishman was among the first to head out in the slippery conditions this morning, for what was also his debut on Michelin wets.
“When it was raining this morning I was quite happy to get some laps in the rain,” Redding said. “It's quite important, two years ago I never rode the MotoGP bike in the rain until I was lined up on the start line for the race. I didn't want that again.
“I felt quite comfortable in the rain, and with the smooth power it was quite easy to ride.
“The feeling with the Michelin wet tyres was quite good. Grip straight out of the box was OK, just a bit of aquaplaning. There was a bit of standing water, the first straight and then out of turn two. It was not even really standing water, just a little bit shiny. Normally it'd be OK and I didn't even think about it and 'braaaap'. The RPM came up quite fast.
“So it was a little bit worse in that area, but I think they can do something to help with that. It was only the rear, the front was fine. Overall grip was also OK and the tyre wear not too bad, even when the track began to dry out.
“It was the first day and we also only have one bike, so I didn't want to destroy it. I wasn't pushing at [Bridgestone wet] level. But the feeling was not bad. We need to understand the tyres rather than try for a lap time.
“In the end, we did a couple of things today that we had to do at some point.”
Redding later joined most of the field in heading out on slicks in-between the showers, although his first attempt was thwarted by a tyre problem.
“It was quite frustrating because we were trying to go out, then it would start raining again,” Redding said. “I had a bit of a problem with a mis-moulded tyre, so the first time it was dry I went to go out and I couldn't make any laps. We put another one and it was similar.
“Then I was using the hard tyre, everyone else used the soft, because it was the only one that was completely round. The feeling was OK. Cooler track and more grip compared to Sepang, but we only did 10 laps just for me to familiarise myself with the bike. It's my first time here with Ducati, it's quite different so I needed a few laps. But I felt OK.”
Fifth out of ten riders in the wet, Redding went on to post the fourth best lap of the day on slicks, 1.1s behind team-mate and session leader Danilo Petrucci.
Phillip Island is the toughest circuit for tyres and Redding revealed that Michelin restricted the amount of dry laps on each slick: “Yeah I think it is around 15 laps, just to be on the safe side.”
Testing continues on Thursday.