He may be British and experienced at the highest levels of motorcycle competition, but ex-MotoGP rider Scott Redding admits his first tastes of British Superbike Championship competition have been eye-opening.

A rider that can list the likes of Phillip Island, COTA and Sachsenring on his repertoire, this weekend nonetheless heralds Redding’s first-time racing at Oulton Park, regarded as one of the more ballsy challenges on the BSB calendar.

Indeed, having branded the circuit ‘mind-blowing’ following the BSB in-season test last week, Redding continued to wax lyrical about the Cheshire circuit after qualifying seventh for Monday’s Bank Holiday races.

“Very difficult [learning Oulton Park],” he told Eurosport after qualiying. “We did a test here last week and I got 18 laps, but it took until last lap of the last session I knew where I was going. Coming here it was better but it scares the life out of me, I’m not going to lie… but I am loving it at the same time!”

“It is a weird sensation [because] I still see I am three seconds off the pace and I am thinking ‘how and where am I going to make that’!

“I have never tried anything like Clay Hill in my GP career, there is no corner like that, then on the opposite side to that there is railing, so it was hard for me mentally to get through it, but I started to pick the pace up and enjoy the character of the track. That is what I really love.

Indeed, thrilling sensations aside, Redding admits he has struggled to find his rhythm so qualifying on the third row exceeded his expectations.

“Going into qualifying I thought if I can get through to Q3 I will be really happy. I made some big steps in qualifying and if I had a new tyre I reckon I would have had the front row which I would never have expected.

“Josh Brookes [team-mate] is really fast so I can study the data and learn but here there is a lot of it stomach feeling and he has ridden on the roads, so he has great experience. If I can make a top six I will be happy!”

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