Scott Redding declared himself “happy with the work we did today” after he qualified in seventh position at the close of a soaking wet afternoon session at his home grand prix at Silverstone.
The Englishman had encountered a vague feeling with the front end of Ducati's GP15 on Friday, a sensation that was not aided by the various bumps that line the 3.6-mile track.
Yet improvements with set-up and riding style pushed Redding into the top six on Saturday morning, allowing him to go straight into the afternoon Q2 shootout.
“Track conditions improved [for FP3] which helped. I also had a much better feeling. I changed my riding style a bit. We changed the bike a bit. A lot of small things came together to give me that feeling.
“I was quite strong and then at the end I managed to find someone to help me with the lap time. Sometimes you need that. I felt comfortable and was quite happy with the work we did today.
“[With riding style] We're trying not to be so hard [on the front]. We checked the data and I was going in to the corners a lot hotter, with more load on the tyres. Obviously when you hit the bumps with more load on the front you'll have more of an effect. That was something I worked on which helped me.”
Redding's speed in the dry was apparent before the rain fell in time for FP4. It was then he suffered a dramatic fall, which arrived not long before his qualifying bow. “I have f**king no idea,” came his response when quizzed on what happened.
“I felt OK. I was struggling with rear grip. One minute it was OK. Then with a little more gas it was gone. I felt OK in that corner, a few little slides. I was taking a little bit more speed to go around the outside of [Maverick] Viñales to line him up in the braking.
“Just as I went wide with a little bit more speed the rear unloaded a little bit more. As soon as I touched the gas it went. Off gas we're still sliding. It was a little unfortunate. I wanted to come in and make a few changes to the bike and to do that for the quail.”
On whether he prefers wet or dry conditions for Sunday's race, Redding added, “Either or. In the wet I was getting faster and more feeling. Laverty was doing a good time and had one more session under his belt. In a way that helped him but he was still doing a great job.
“In wet or dry, in between, we've all got the same conditions. I feel good in both so we'll see what tomorrow brings. Top eight I'll be happy but my target is to get into the top six to do my best there. I'll grit my teeth for Sunday's race.”