Scott Redding praised a succession of late set-up changes and an unexpected tyre choice ahead of the British Grand Prix that carried him toward his first top ten finish in the MotoGP class since April.

The Englishman admitted he had feared the worst after Sunday’s morning warm-up at Silverstone, with his front tyre feeling far from ideal. A series of changes in the hours that preceded the race meant Redding was going into the 20-lap duel hoping for the best.

Then Michelin came to the Englishman with a late suggestion. The medium rear tyre, which no other rider felt was appropriate, could do the distance if fitted to Redding’s Ducati GP17. It was a risk, but one the 24-year old was willing to take.

And judging by the result, it paid off. Redding got away well from eleventh, before making his way past Andrea Iannone, Pol Espargaro and Alex Rins to hold a fine eighth place. Only this year’s curtain raiser in Qatar saw Redding finish higher.

“I'm happy with today, to be honest,” said Redding. “I struggled a bit through the weekend. The result didn't show too bad, I was around the top 10 area, but really not comfortable. Not bad with the rhythm, but always a few tenths off where I felt I could have been.

“And again, in the warm up, struggled a lot. Two or three laps was OK, then like that, I was struggling with the front, rolling, bouncing. We made some changes for the race, quite big changes, and then I was thinking, OK, I'll go with the hard, I was deciding to go out, and then Michelin were like, 'Ah, we think you can run the medium.' And I said, 'F**k. We'd decided on the hard, and now you're telling me the medium? It's a bit risky for me.'

“So I thought, you know what? F**k it. We're just going to try it, because in the end we were not really in a very strong position, let's try it. So we tried, and it worked really well. At one point I felt a little drop, and I thought, hmmm, that's the end of the run for me.

“But then it kind of stayed there, it didn't drop any more. So I was quite happy with the performance of the tyre. I was really happy with the changes we made before the race. I didn't expect that much progress, I was much more consistent than I had been in the practices, I felt a lot better, and the result showed for that.”

On why Michelin felt the medium was more appropriate, Redding said, “My tyre wear has not been bad this week, which is strange. Normally, I'm always high tire wear, same as Danilo [Petrucci], but I was doing the same tyre wear as Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] and [Jorge] Lorenzo.

“Like I said, I've been working on my riding style the last few races to help this, and I don't know if it was that, or something just with the bike which was not destroying the tyre here, but it was strange.

“Which is why I said we should go with the hard for the race because we spin more, and then they said go with the medium, and I thought, 'It's a risk, but let's do it!'. And it worked well.

“A combination of the style that I'm adapting slowly, and it takes time. But I think step by step, after Brno we made a step, in Austria better, here a bit better, and it's not been easy, but I need to keep working at it. It takes a long time to conquer it.”

Pressed on where he has been making changes to his riding style, Redding added, “It's more just throttle control, how to brake, how to keep that rhythm, keep the speed, not make mistakes. A lot of small things, not one big thing, like throttle control.

“It's a lot of little things. Understanding when the tire drops, how to make it a bit more consistent. And that's what I'm finding the most is consistency, with the tires, with the laps, I can do boom, boom, boom, boom. Not like, one lap there, one lap down, one lap fast, and struggling, and the tyres are changing because the temperature's too high.

“Like in Austria, I could do boom, boom, boom, boom, lap after lap. And the race here it was also the same. So the feeling is getting better with that. I need to keep working in this way, not go off the line at all, and just keep taking small chips away.”

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