What needs to change for Scott Redding and BMW following disastrous start?

While Scott Redding remains one of the best WorldSBK riders on the grid, will that continue to be the case with BMW following a shocking start in Aragon? 
Scott Redding, BMW WorldSBK
Scott Redding, BMW WorldSBK

If Redding thought his transition from Ducati to BMW would be a seamless one, then the opening round of the 2022 WorldSBK season demonstrated anything but that. 

Of course, Redding's first few rounds with the German manufacturer were always going to be a challenge, particularly on two fronts - the first of those is due to Redding switching from a V4 to an inline-four which he has not done in years - the second being centred around BMW’s performance, or lack thereof. 

But despite that Redding remains a phenomenal rider which is why so much more was expected from the Brit. 

Technical issues didn’t help the former MotoGP and 2019 BSB champion in race two, but still, Redding was regularly outperformed by fellow M 1000 RR rookie Loris Baz, Eugene Laverty and more surprisingly World Endurance rider Ilya Mychalchyk. 

Following two separate outbursts of frustration whilst on-track, Redding failed to finish race two due to engine and braking problems. That all comes after finishing 15th in race one and 12 in the Superpole race. 

Traction issues hinder Redding on his first BMW WorldSBK appearance

One of the biggest problems for Redding last weekend was traction and getting power down once temperatures rose. 

With Ducati taking two wins from three and both its factory riders showing just what good traction looked like, Redding was instead sliding his way around the Teruel venue more often than not. 

Unable to punch his way out of corners, but especially the final corner, Redding was then left over-riding on the entry to corners. 

BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, Marc Bongers alluded to that, while also saying Redding lacked feel with the M 1000 RR.

"He cannot find a feel for the bike and especially out of the turns we struggle with drive. We have not been able to supply a solution for this," Bongers told WorldSBK.com. 

Marc Bongers and Scott Redding, Aragon WorldSBK, 08 April
Marc Bongers and Scott Redding, Aragon WorldSBK, 08 April

"We have to find a solution for that soon because this is not acceptable for either of us. Of course, he is clearly upset. These boys are very motivated, and Scott is a top rider. 

"We have to deliver a bike for him so he can be fast. Because he is professional, he fairly soon calmed down again and then we just have constructive meetings and have to find a way forward."

Will Redding keep his cool if problems continue? 

With Redding showing the type of frustration we’ve rarely ever seen, not just from him, but from a rider altogether, it begs the question can Redding and BMW last if the latter fails to provide a winning bike. 

Yes the M 1000 RR is only in its second season in WorldSBK, therefore gaining on the likes of Yamaha, Ducati and Kawasaki was always going to be difficult, but BMW have so far looked like the fifth best manufacturer, something you would assume Redding wouldn’t have signed up for in hindsight. 

With other top teams settled regarding their rider line-ups, it’s in Redding and BMW’s best interest to make this partnership work, which is likely going to mean tougher moments are ahead before it gets better. 

So what needs to change/improve for Redding and BMW?

It’s obvious that producing a more complete package will help Redding in his bid to take BMW to the front of the grid, the precise reason he was signed instead of the team retaining new BSB rider Tom Sykes. 

But after Aragon, Redding will also need to show better performance after enduring one of his worst weekends as a racer. 

Scott Redding BMW WorldSBK Aragon
Scott Redding BMW WorldSBK Aragon

Judging Redding and BMW after one race weekend is unfair as more time is needed, but time at this level is not always granted which means both sides have to begin improving the bike, whether that be with new components or with the set-up. 

Second-year BMW rider Michael Van Der Mark was a big miss for the team last weekend, and while having the experienced Dutchman could have helped Redding, it could have also shown an even bigger performance gap between factory team riders.  

Speaking after the Aragon round, Bongers was quick to find some of the positives, which it must be said, came mostly from Bonovo Action BMW side of things: 

Bongers concluded: "After testing, which was in different conditions and painted a far more positive picture, the opening weekend was generally disappointing for us. However, there were various individual highlights. 

"They include the strong performance from Ilya Mikhalchik on Saturday, and seventh place for Loris Baz and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in race two. 

"They are the positives that we will take with us. On the other hand, we still have a lot of work ahead of us – particularly with Scott, but also with Eugene. 

"We must now work hard to understand the causes, and come up with a plan for solving the problem and making sure we are back at the front of the field. We hope to do better in Assen."

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