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MotoGP Qatar: Redding: 'Interesting to see who wants to lead'

“It will be interesting to see who fancies their chances to lead the race” – Scott Redding.
Th first race for MotoGP's new era of Michelin tyres and unified ECU software officially takes place in Qatar this weekend.

Having signed-off a strong pre-season with the second fastest lap time during testing at the Losail circuit, new Pramac Ducati rider Scott Redding naturally hopes to again be among the contenders on Sunday.

While the Englishman expects the established stars to be at the front, “for me as a rider, it will be interesting to see who fancies their chances to lead the race.

“Because that's dangerous water. You're setting the pace, you don't know how the tyres are going to react, with the Dunlop rubber down [from the Moto2 and Moto3 races] they could react differently, could affect the tyre drop off.

“So it's going to be interesting to see those guys' plans. Maybe the guys want to get out and go, set a gap. Maybe they want someone else to set the pace. But I'm ready for all options in the race.”

Asked how the technical changes will influence overtaking, Redding replied: “I believe you'll see more overtaking, but you'll also see more mistakes on overtaking. Something I learned in testing, actually.

“Because the front tyre's not as strong as Bridgestone, with the Bridgestone, you could load it as much as you can. Michelin you've got to take a bit of caution. I did a couple of overtakes and a little bit off line, and I went wide.

“I noticed the mistake that I made. So you will see it, which will make it good racing, and to me, I'm in a good position, because I can actually overtake people this year, because I can stay with them in the straight.

“Last year, the year before was more just making a lunge from 100 meters back and just hoping at that apex they're not there. Where it's nice to be in the position that I can stay behind them at least, and get alongside them. And that for me is, that's glory right there, it makes my life a lot easier.”

If Redding can continue his competitive form he will find himself going head-to-head with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez for the first time since joining the premier-class.

“With the work we did over testing, we know that we're strong, we know that we can be consistent, and that for me is the best thing going into a race. I can already feel how the race might go, I have a plan, I've got a few options,” he said.

“But obviously the thing that for me which is unknown is going to be racing against guys like Lorenzo, like Valentino, like Marquez. These guys that are world champions, and they don't let up.

“The thing I studied a lot, and I said also in the pre-season, is that every lap [they do] is the same. It's the same, it's the same, it's the same. They don't slow down. And that's what I've been working on. On my long run [in testing], I was getting faster, faster, faster. So I showed myself I could do it.”

Such performances mean the clearly-relaxed Redding is enjoying himself for the first time since challenging for the Moto2 title in 2013.

"Just enjoying it is the main thing, and predicting what's going to happen with the bike. I know what's going to happen, and I know I can improve and I can relate that to the track, which in the past, I've struggled with.

"Every time I go on the bike, I'm learning something and I'm still not at my full potential. I'm not stressing to go faster and it just puts me in a relaxed mindset, instead of being on the back foot starting the season.

"I haven't had that feeling for two years, and again, it's just having that confidence in your pocket."

First practice takes place on Thursday evening.

Tagged as: Ducati , redding

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March 16, 2016 9:39 PM

Over these past years, Redding's conversation has changed from being young and arrogant to subtle and calculating. I really think he is coming into his own. This level of competition, process of growth is what he needed to mature as a whole if he wanted to compete at this level and stay in Motogp, I think he has accomplished that and know we will see if he can display this on track and over the course of the season

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