Scott Redding was pleased to score a fighting twelfth place at the Austrian Grand Prix, in the wake of a tiring couple of weeks, during which his future was being decided, and claimed Sunday’s showing was “the best race I’ve done for a while.”

The Englishman spent parts of the weekend fielding questions on his plans for 2018, with his presence in Aprilia’s MotoGP garage for next season, in place of fellow-Englishman Sam Lowes, eventually announced on Monday.

But, reflecting on a solid run to eleventh, Redding spoke of a late decision to use Michelin’s hard compound rear tyre, which gave him more grip in the race’s second half, when he was attempting to make up ground for an earlier mistake.

“I opted for the hard rear tyre on the grid,” said Redding. “The temperature came up and I thought, ‘F**k, if I go with the medium, it ain’t going to last.” Should we? Shouldn’t we? I didn’t do one lap on it [the hard] all weekend but I said, “Go with the hard.”

“The start was good. The first lap, not bad. Danilo ran me off the track and I struggled to go again. I still felt strong, and I passed Cal into the one before the final corner. I tipped in and there was just nothing there, I was on the edge and it was just completely gone. I thought, ‘This is going to be a big high-side!’ So I kept the rear brake, kept the angle and just slid out the track.

“Three, four, five guys came passed me. Then I struggled to get that temperature into the tyre. I went back a little bit. On the straight Baz, Barbera, I just couldn’t go with them. They were pulling two or three tenths on me every time between one and three. If you look at how close out lap times were, gaining that back was quite difficult.

“I kept my head down, stayed focused all the race – that’s something I’ve been trying to work on. Honestly it’s the best race I’ve done for a while. I didn’t get tired. I was just focused all the way through the race. When I saw Abraham, I tried to be consistent and when I finally got my teeth into him, took the tear off off, and said, ‘Now I have to do it. I’ve come that far.’

“Over the whole weekend, I’m really happy. I’d have liked to have been in the top ten today but just making that small mistake at the beginning cost me that. In the end, I’m not that disappointed. The steps I made this weekend are big. I hope to carry that on for the next races. It’s coming back slowly – with all the stuff going on - I can forget about that and do the results that I want. This weekend was one of the better ones for me.”

Looking ahead to the British Grand Prix, a round which the Englishman usually relishes, Redding made mention of Cal Crutchlow, who finished 15th and had previously criticised Aprilia’s decision to replace Lowes, stating “The less risky option they've gone for, how many top tens has he got this year? How many times has he finished in the points? At the Sachsenring he says what he says every time, he's got no rear tyre. Next test, he's fixed it. I don't think Redding is a less risky option than Sam.”

Redding responded: “It’s the home GP next. That’ll be good, you know? I always look forward to going to my home GP. Four British riders go there now, which is good. It’s just a shame that some of them slate other ones. It’s a little bit… not really cool. But today we saw who got the last laugh on that, so I’ll leave it with you.”



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