Scott Redding has reiterated his aim of rising through Ducati's MotoGP ranks and into its official team, but admits the Bologna factory's acquisition of Jorge Lorenzo “doesn't give me much time” to prove he is worthy of being the current world champion's team-mate in 2017.
Signed to a factory contract but racing in the Pramac squad, Redding said he would be content to spend another year in the satellite outfit, but a seat in Ducati's official team is his ultimate aim.
“The only thing now is there is only one more spot in the factory team and guys are signing contracts like it's going out of fashion,” said Redding on Thursday.
“I need to prove to them what I can do. I don't want to try too hard and make it worse. I have to do what I've got to do. Every time I go on the bike I try my best. In the end if they don't give me the opportunity with the factory team then I need to make another deal here in Pramac and try and get closer.
“That's what I want to do [become a factory Ducati rider]. That's where I'd like to be. As soon as I signed this contract I said one year here and then I'm going to try and be in the factory [team]. That's what I'll try to do. The contract signing like this doesn't give me much time.”
Speaking on Thursday, Ducati's sporting director Paolo Ciabatti stated that, “in principle”, the factory's priority is maintaining either Andrea Iannone or Andrea Dovizioso to partner Lorenzo in the 2017 team.
“In our opinion it would be important to keep one of the two current riders because continuity of the work we have been developing for both Andreas,” explained Ciabatti.
“Both are Ducati MotoGP riders since 2013, Iannone starting with Pramac, Dovizioso only with the factory team - but we have done a lot of development work together. So we think that ideally, if possible, we would like to retain one of the two riders.
“Having said that, Scott obviously is a Ducati rider. He is under contract with us and we look with a lot of interest to his performances. He could have been on the podium in Argentina but unfortunately he had a technical problem, so he is doing a good season. But as I said in principle and if possible we would like to retain the two Andreas.”
On Lorenzo's move to Ducati, Redding offered: “I think it will be interesting because his riding style is very smooth and very delicate. The Ducati isn't that bike. It isn't the animal that it used to be but it certainly isn't a pony. It definitely does still do what it wants to do.
“He will figure it out because it's a good bike and every rider seems to manage with it. But it might take a bit of time to understand how to get the best out of it. Now I'm still learning a lot of things with the bike and it's a few races in. Sure, he has more experience than me.”