British racer Scott Redding, making his MotoGP debut on a Honda RCV1000R in 2014, still holds the record as the youngest-ever grand prix winner – after winning his home grand prix at Donington Park, aged 15 years and 170 days.
Since that classic 2008 afternoon, Redding has grown in stature, and not only as a rider. His height and weight (185cm and 70kg) were a serious disadvantage in the Moto2 class, where all bikes use identical race-prepared Honda CBR600 engines. Only when a new combined bike-and-rider minimum weight was introduced in 2013 could he come closer to his full potential.
He did so by leading the World Championship, only giving way to eventual winner Pol Espargaro after two unlucky crashes in the closing rounds.
Redding started racing aged eight, in the British Minimoto championship in 2001. In 2004 he won the British MiniGP championship, as well as the 80cc Spanish Calypso Cup series. Talent-spotted for the Red Bull MotoGP Academy, he moved to 125cc GP-style bikes; and he was second in the 2007 national Spanish CEV championship, winning the last three races.
Scott moved straight into GPs, and took that classic first-season race win, finishing 11th overall at his first attempt.
After one more year, Redding moved to the new Moto2 class, claiming two rostrum finishes, but already suffering from higher tyre wear and a lower top speed than his rivals. Even so he was eighth overall, and fifth two years later, after a crucial switch from a Suter to a Kalex chassis.
Although once second and three times third in 2012, he had yet to win a race. That changed in 2013, when the new bike-rider weight limit went some way to redressing his problems. After two second places from the opening three races, Redding took the fourth and fifth round race wins in France and Italy, building up a strong overall lead on points.
He defended that lead with four more visits to the podium, including another wildly popular home race win in the British GP at Silverstone. Then he broke his wrist in a high-speed crash in practice for the Australian GP. He returned bravely after corrective surgery to fight on just one week later at Motegi in Japan, only to fall innocent victim to another rider’s mistake in a first-lap melee. He crashed heavily, and this time was unable to take part in the restart.
From Quedgely south of Gloucester in England, Redding is now based in Zurich.
A determined and courageous rider, he joins the senior racing class with the well-respected Gresini Honda squad, sponsored by GO&FUN, riding one of the new Production Honda RCV1000R machines in the Open class. With the vastly experienced race and championship winning mechanics in his pit he will have the best possible technical support which, together with the guiding hand of team owner, former double world champion Fausto Gresini ensures top drawer backing for his learning year in the senior class.
As part of his contract, Redding is understood to have a Honda RC213V ride for 2015.