A new dawn beckons for Scott Redding in 2019. An eleven-year stint in the grand prix paddock came to an end last November at a murky Valencia. But rather than longing for the past, the Englishman was upbeat, and already looking ahead to the challenges ahead.

Before his final MotoGP bow, and the first test aboard Ducati’s new Panigale V4 Superbike, on which Redding will compete in the British Superbike Championship, Crash.net sat down with the four-time grand prix winner to discuss a tumultuous year in Aprilia colours.

The 26-year old was willing to open up further, providing insights on his interests away from the track, motivations for the switch to BSB, what prevented him from keeping up with childhood rival Marc Marquez and his happiest memories from a GP stint that resulted in four victories and 14 further podiums.

Crash.net:
The videoblogs you did during the end of the year were well received. Has this led you to think about a life behind the camera once you hang up your leathers?

Scott Redding:
I would like to. I think I’d be good at stuff like that. I haven’t put too much thought into it. That’s why I started doing the vlogs. I didn’t want to do them at first. But it was more because of what I was doing, where I was going. That was interesting. But now, why would people want to see me sitting and talking? It had a good turnaround and people really liked it. They say I’m good at talking but I don’t see it, because it’s me. I think, ‘Shut up, you’re talking shit.’ I need to stay in racing for as long as I can. I don’t think I’d be as interested in doing what Neil [Hodgson] and James [Toseland – pundits for BT Sport] is doing. I don’t think I’m into that. Someone commented and said, ‘Why don’t you go on ‘I’m a Celebrity’?’ I would do it. I’m scared of everything but I’d like to give something like that a shot. But it’s a completely different world, that. The first thing I’d like to do is boxing. I’d like to do some matches next year. I’m training a lot. I’ll have the time next year between races and I’d like to do some stuff.

Crash.net:
When you practice boxing away from the track, do you train with other professionals?

Scott Redding:
It’s been hard to find a gym and I’ve been moving countries. I’ve found a guy in Rimini, because I’m staying in Riccione at the moment. He’s really good. He does bare-knuckle boxing in England quite a lot. He’s quite a good trainer, and I like the way he works. In a gym, they look at you like… [scrunches up face]. But he’s quiet and he works well. We did a couple of trainings and did a light sparring session yesterday [interview took place on the Thursday, before Valencia GP, 2018]. I enjoy it. It’s all I think about. I went to the gym yesterday. Most people are at the track twiddling their thumbs. But I went there, wanting to work a little bit on my footwork. I was there two and a half hours. I get into it and just want to learn. I don’t care about punching; I just want to understand the footwork. I don’t have perfect technique but I’ve got power. If you watch some boxers and how they move on their feet, it’s beautiful to watch. [Floyd] Mayweahter, [Vasyl] Lomachenko [lightweight world champion]… I was watching Lomachenko the other day and I thought, ‘The way you move, there’s a finesse.’ It’s like an art. It’s like riding a bike, but only for you.

Crash.net:
If you look at 2018 as a whole you would probably say it was disappointing. Has boxing been something of a welcome distraction? Is that how you detach from the stresses of racing?

Scott Redding:
The boxing has been a bit on and off for many years. I did a bit of MMA last year, but it took too much time because you had to do a lot of different sports. I was doing triathlons before to try and side-step the mind. When it’s difficult, you need something to occupy your mind to keep you motivated, to show that in here you’ve still got it, you’re still ready. That’s the difference. That’s why I said when I was speaking about racing for next year, I don’t care about being here. I really don’t care at all. People think I’m crazy for it. People love to be here. I don’t care. I come because I want to be successful. That’s the difference between me making it with no money and riders making it with money. They want to be successful, but if it comes down to a full-out dogfight and you have to fucking ride through a wall, there’s not going to be many that’s going to ride through that wall. One of those is Marquez. He would ride through the wall to win. Valentino, I don’t imagine he would. But that’s the key difference; he’s a lot wiser, he’s older. But there’s a difference in the scale between it.

Crash.net:
It seems like you are ready for a change. Do you have that feeling?

Scott Redding:
I need a change. As I was saying, that’s why I wanted to go - no, I didn’t want to go to BSB. That would be wrong. I chose in the end to go to BSB because it was the only option that could really be successful for me. I just said to Michael [Bartholemy – Redding’s manager], ‘Get me a bike that can win the championship. Get me a bike that can win.” I don’t care where, what. I don’t even give a fuck if it has one wheel. If it can win, get me that bike and I will do what I can do. If I win, there we go. If I don’t win, have a second year because I have a big lot to learn. If I don’t win again, OK, listen, you tried. You ain’t what you used to be. Done.

But until then, being here, riding round, like in Malaysia I was just wasting my time. I’m wasting my time and risking my life. That’s not a good combination. It’s demoralising. You’re getting beat by people that with the right machine you could generally beat them with one hand. I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way, but they’re beating me by big amounts of seconds, minutes. What the fuck? And that’s why I’ve lost a lot of this passion. I’m hungry to win, but that hunger is gone because unless I get the chance… Like I said on social media, if a rider from a factory team gets injured and they need a replacement rider, I’m in. I’m fully in. Put me on that thing. If I’m one year out and it’s Australia this year and I’ve been one year out, put me on that fucking bike. I will show you. I can adapt fast.

But you can’t adapt fast to something that doesn’t work. I was looking back through some photos on the internet this year, then I went through to last year, through the year before. I went all the way through thinking the Ducati days was not bad. If I was offered to go back, I would go back because it was not that bad. But you always think it could be better. Of course, it’s what we come here for. The days on the Honda with VDS. If you look to my results, they were not that bad, considering how shit the bike was at the time. You see the other guys gone there with the bike that’s improved. They’re not really that much better, but at the time everyone was thinking, it needs more. Everyone expects more.

But then you see, they never really progressed. They got a better bike. So then I kind of lost the way. So it’s just a big clusterfuck. It’s just been a big wrong time, wrong place since I left VDS. I should have stayed another year [in Moto2] and fought for the title the year after, and then things would have been insane. It would have changed. I would have probably ended up on maybe the Tech3 Yamaha, being competitive. Folger and Zarco, when we’re in our prime, they’re not better riders than me, at all. I’ve raced with them most of my life. They’re not better riders than me. But put them on the right bike, boom.

So my career would have been completely different, but I was a little bit naive and a bit frustrated about the weight thing thinking MotoGP, it won’t be a big difference. Well, fuck me! No different. That’s the reason I wanted to move so fast because I could win that championship. I’m in an uphill battle all the time. It’s the same now in MotoGP. It’s still the same problem.

But I thought that wouldn't be, and then I got there and the whole thing started to go wrong. So I need to get out. Go and do something else and come back. I’m not pushing to come back here. I would like to go to World Superbike with competitive machinery to try and win the title there. That’s my goal now as I sit here today. If I get a chance to come back in MotoGP on a good bike, yeah, call me up. I’ll be there. No problem. I’m ready every day. I would like to. I would like to actually do that one time. No pressure. Turn up, ride a bike that’s well-developed. Even if it’s a Honda again. I’ll give it a shot. If it’s a Yamaha, if it’s an Aprilia, whatever. There’s no stress behind. Just to see.

Crash.net:
Recently you compared your career with Marc Marquez, as you came through the smaller classes at the same time. The fact Marc has worked with the same faces for so many years, is that something you lacked?

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