An exclusive interview with Scott Redding during the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP team launch in Madrid. The young Englishman has re-joined Marc VDS, his former Moto2 team, for the step-up to Factory-class Honda machinery...

Crash.net:
How has the winter been for you Scott?

Scott Redding:
It's been a strange winter for me because I broke my sternum at the Superprestigio so I had a lot of time off. Now I'm trying to build my fitness back up. After I got recovered it's been good and [it felt] good in testing. I'm really looking forward to Qatar and getting out in the next test. Once I could move my arm a bit more I came straight out to Spain. The training is much better with the weather. I've been doing motocross, supermoto - all them things. It's just a big step.

Crash.net:
You competed at the Superprestigio in December. Have you been using flat track for training too?

Scott Redding:
Actually before the Superprestigio I never did it. I did two days riding before that. By the time the race came round I was completely f**ked! Actually I quite enjoyed it but it gets a bit boring. I prefer the motocross and supermoto. They're the most physical motorsports out there and for me it's a lot more enjoyable than going around in a circle.

Crash.net:
You spent a year at Gresini Honda and now you're back with Marc VDS. Does it feel as though you've come back home in some ways?

Scott Redding:
No - in every way. The structure and the way the team works really makes me feel at home. If it's nine o'clock it's nine o'clock - not half past or twenty past. Just having the guys back around me - not so much my mechanics - but my team manager and these guys that organise everything, it makes your life a lot easier. You can focus just on your racing.

Crash.net:
You have a lot of experience in your team but I imagine it has still taken time for the new line up to gel.

Scott Redding:
To be honest the first test at Valencia was difficult. It was strange. A lot of people didn't know each other so much. But after two tests in Sepang everyone is really gelling and I think we have a strong package around us.

Crash.net:
You repeatedly said at both Sepang tests that you weren't chasing lap times. Were you content with your progress?

Scott Redding:
I am happy. The thing with Sepang is it is difficult because the lap time comes within the first thirty minutes [of the day]. And then you [wait to] do a lap time until the last ten minutes of the day. The lap time means nothing to me there. It's more about feeling and testing with no electronics. Trying to go step by step. I think with the right direction at the Qatar test we can make another step forward and be a bit closer to the guys.

Crash.net:
Was this approach something you had discussed with the team beforehand?

Scott Redding:
Valencia was a complete disaster. The bike, the electronics, everything I hated. With the whole situation I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew. Then we got to Sepang and I said, 'take off the electronics.' I wanted to feel the bike and the true power. Then the first time we went out I thought it was really nice, I enjoyed it so much more. Now without electronics I can understand the bike and use the power, which was a big step for my confidence.

Crash.net:
What is the biggest difference with the 2015 RC213V and the 'Open' machine you rode last year?

Scott Redding:
More the braking style with this bike. Last year you had a lot more braking grip. This year it's not so much, you need to work the bike more in the braking [area]. And little things make a difference. If you make a small wheelie it can cost you half a tenth. If you make it three times in a lap it's one and half tenths. It's very fine to find the lap time. The closer you get the harder it gets.

Crash.net:
Chris Pike is your new crew chief for 2015. How is the relationship developing?

Scott Redding:
Really good. I think in the beginning it was a big 'not sure'. I said to him, 'You need to take control of this ship, you're the man here.' Then more and more he got the confidence and now we're going in the right direction. At the first test in Sepang I was sort of directing the way. I said, 'give me the bike. Let me ride.' At the last test we started to work. He said, 'try this, try this.'

I like the way he works. He's very straight and very direct in what he wants to try. Sometimes we're clashing because we're still getting to know each other but we're clashing for the right reason. If I think it's not right, I'll say that it isn't right. This is why we work well together and I think this will be a strong package for the season.

Crash.net:
Do you have any data from the past few years to use as a reference?

Scott Redding:
I can see a bit of data from last year which is helping me understand. But the problem is that last year it was a completely different bike. This year with this factory bike, it's like my first year. I've had a year but the bike is completely different, the tyres. Really for me I'm classing this as my first year in MotoGP.

Crash.net:
Now you're in your second year in the class and in a one man team. Do you feel added pressure?

Scott Redding:
There's a lot of pressure but I thrive off that pressure. If there's no pressure there's no urge to do it. It's nice to have it and even to be in a one-man team. Pressure is the support. People are pressuring me because they know I can do it. For me it's just a matter of finding my way. For sure there's pressure but I enjoy riding like this.

Crash.net:
At the first Sepang test your best time was 2.396s from Marquez. At the second test it was just 1.58s. Where did the biggest improvement come from?

Scott Redding:
Just confidence and understanding the bike and the tyres. Everything is just coming closer and closer. I did one year with Nissin and Showa. It's put me one step back. When I came back to Ohlins and Brembo... Nissin and Showa is here [puts hand at chin level] and Ohlins and Brembo is here [raises hand above head]. I just need to understand a bit more but it's coming. Every time I get on the bike I'm learning and I'm still riding with a smile because I know I'm still not close to my limit. For me with one lap time there isn't a big difference but consistency [there] definitely [is]. I feel so much better and under control. The things I change make a difference. It's definitely the right package to go with.

Crash.net:
You said you wanted to challenge for the podium when you were on stage. Is that the aim for the season ahead?

Scott Redding:
Yeah, not to be consistently on the podium because that's unrealistic. I think two times in the season we could get on the podium. I think that would be a good year for me. Trying to achieve top fives is always my goal and if I'm fighting for the podium I've got nothing to lose. It's going to be an interesting season because I don't really have pressure to get the results, as long as they can see that I'm there and I'm trying.

Crash.net:
You surprised everyone with a strong seventh place at Qatar on your MotoGP debut. What are your expectations this time around?

Scott Redding:
It's the same thing. In Sepang I was 0.6/0.7 seconds behind Nicky and then we came to Qatar and I beat him in the race. It's going to be interesting to just see what I can do in the Qatar track. Sepang is not one of my favourite circuits and it's quite different. When I get a bit closer I get more confident and then we'll see what I can achieve. I want to be top seven in Qatar. I think this is a realistic possibility. I don't want to put on too much pressure. The first couple of races you need to score some points and to try and be consistent for the championship.

 

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