Not even illness could hold Scott Redding back on Friday afternoon as he set the fourth fastest time in MotoGP FP2 at the Circuit of the Americas, and feels his condition is only going to improve as the weekend goes on.
Redding was one of several premier-class riders that suffered a grueling journey to Texas from Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina after a succession of plane delays and cancellations caused several late nights.
Upon arriving at the circuit on Thursday the Englishman was dealing with an unpleasant stomach bug. A day later and he was still dealing with its effects.
Not that it was evident on Friday, as Redding placed inside the top six in both sessions, with his final time in the afternoon just 0.159s slower than the fastest Ducati of Andrea Iannone in second.
“That's more like it,” beamed Redding when he began speaking to the press. “I have a good feeling like Argentina, maybe a little bit better. I've always liked this circuit anyway. Out there I feel quite good. I was a little bit annoyed at the beginning of the session when people were goofing around. It cost me three laps and that was with a new tyre so that was my only option with that. It was wasted.
“Apart from that we had a chance to go again at the end, which was quite good. We've been trying the other front tyre [the hard compound] but it was too hard. The edge grip is quite good but when you're braking hard it's just skidding with the front so I don't take away any speed. We have to see tomorrow. We have a medium option front – the same as the rear – we're going to do some laps to see if that works.
“Stomach feels better, my back feels better. Still I don't feel 100 percent. With so much travel I'm still tired. Ten minutes before I went out I dozed off. I thought, 'Get your act together!' The room was quite warm and I had to go outside and get some air. Come tomorrow and Sunday I should get stronger and stronger and that's the important thing.”
On Michelin's new soft rear tyre that it shipped to Austin at the last minute on Thursday, Redding believes it can last the distance, even if some tyre management is needed.
“We have to wait until tomorrow but this tyre already for me can do race distance. This morning we did race distance and there was some graining on the tyre. It's normal, it's the first session and you have to expect that. Tomorrow we'll try the soft and, of course, the medium and see.”
A problem in Qatar, Redding and his crew were also keeping an eye on fuel consumption around a track that can be notoriously difficult on gas. Thus far, it hasn't been as issue.
“Even on the fast lap today we didn't use more fuel that we should. That's a good thing. We're always keeping an eye on it and it's the first thing that I say. We need to work and make sure we get the most out of it. So far it seems OK. Maybe tomorrow it the lap time drops we might come close but we need to definitely keep an eye on it and work so we have the best feeling.
“[Here] It's quite high. You know, you have long straights with a lot of speed and some corners with a lot of spinning. It's quite a long lap anyway.”
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