Tenth place may not have been the Ducati debut Scott Redding was hoping for but the first race of 2016 in Qatar taught him several key lessons on how to improve going forward; mainly fuel consumption and braking technique.
Redding admitted he had paid little attention to his Ducati GP15's fuel consumption through free practice at round one, something which caused his team to limit the machine's power for the first part of the 22-lap race.
“In practice I didn't really think about saving fuel consumption,” said Redding on Thursday. “I said I'd try it but I didn't really give a s**t! I just wanted to make the lap time. Being a bigger rider you use more fuel. That's normal. I shouldn't have been so naïve. I should have worked in that area, which I will do this weekend.
“After halfway through the race I was losing between half a second and a second. If I could close that to 0.2 to half a second over a race that could be ten seconds off. That would be a good improvement. Here is not so bad, if we can improve it it's going to be easier for me to make the lap time.”
Another area was braking technique. While Redding was losing time to Andrea Dovizioso in straight line speed, he also revealed how studying the Italian's data showed how adjustments to his braking technique were necessary to extract the most from Michelin's front tyre.
“Most of it [areas where he lost time] was straights. It was also riding style. Like I said at the weekend I was trying to brake where I was in the test I couldn't do it. When I looked at the data it was even worse.
“He was braking a lot earlier than me but able to keep the speed. I was braking, thinking I wasn't going to make the corner. Like brake, release, brake, release. That's something that I need to keep an eye out for; not to brake too late and overload that front. It works better when you stop it earlier. But again, it's all a learning process and the main thing was we know where we can improve.”
The Pramac Ducati man also believes the fact riders will not have a great amount of information from a prior test to call upon for this round – like Qatar – will hold him in good stead for the race at Termas de Hondo Rio, Argentina.
“It should be good. With the different circuit and not so much testing from there, we know where we have to work from last week. Last week was not a mess but it was quite a lot different from testing. We got caught out and didn't expect that. This week we know we don't have that issue.
“The main thing for me is fuel consumption. Tyre consumption was good in Qatar. It was just the power. We didn't really use enough of it. We need to sort out the qualifying and get further up the grid so we don't lose as many seconds in the first few laps so we can be a bit closer.”