Scott Redding believes several days training in central Italy gave him enough perspective to realise he had been placing too much pressure on himself in France, and feels he is riding “quite relaxed” in Mugello.
Le Mans – “a s**t weekend” – was the second round in succession that failed to yield a decent result for the 23-year old, but Redding looked sharp on Friday in Italy, ending the day eighth overall, after leading with less than ten minutes to go.
The Englishman spent the afternoon on Michelin's soft front compound and is confident a switch to the medium can bring further improvements. Yet it was his calmer approach that led to Redding starting the weekend with “more control” than Jerez and Le Mans.
“I found where I need to be again. I had a bit of a s**t weekend in Le Mans overall. I was putting too much pressure on myself. I was down near Pisa doing some training this week, which made me feel a bit mentally better. I managed to overlay that to today. I felt quite good and quite relaxed riding. It's just a better start to the weekend and a bit more under control.
“I feel quite good [with the front tyre]. I used the soft and I wanted to go to the medium but we ran out of time. The soft was too soft. I was closing the front a lot off the brake. I think tomorrow will be better.
“I normally go with the medium front tyre. It's quite important here to have good confidence on the front. With the off-camber, downhill corners, it's OK. We tried to go back at the end. I couldn't stop the bike and it was just skipping across the turn. We know a little the direction we need to go.
“I never experienced much folding. Today I had a bit more of it on the edge but I had a good feeling from it. The front would close [but] I was driving and going forward. Before you wouldn't really feel it. That's the reason I wanted to step up to the harder one [medium] so I could get it to dig in and turn more and get out of the corner.”
Both Redding and team-mate Danilo Petrucci (twelfth) had a more streamlined fairing to test throughout the day, but Redding explained any gains were minimal.
“In the morning I didn't like it. You might have seen it. I came onto the straight, wheelying and it was pushing away. Actually I think they've found a lower set of wings now. That was the only option we had. To be honest you don't feel a big difference. It's not like it added 10kph. It's one of those things that was different.”
Asked whether using a fairing with winglets made any difference over the rise as he enters Mugello's fearsome turn one, Redding was reluctant to feel his positive feelings to the aerodynamic feature.
“I feel better on the Ducati than the Honda there. But I think that's more electronics set-up and body position. I felt really good. Last year was always my balls up in my stomach whereas now I have more control over there. I don't think it's from the wings.”