The 2020 WorldSBK runner-up enjoyed a much better weekend in terms of results compared to Aragon, however, achieving P5 in race two came at considerable risk. 

Despite finishing just under 15 seconds down on race winner Alvaro Bautista, Redding was pushing at the absolute limit every lap, before a tyre issue saw him lose fifth and sixth place over the final two laps. 

Redding was then promoted back up to fifth following a time penalty for Motocorsa Ducati rider Axel Bassani. 

‘I’m wrestling a f***ing alligator, I put my money’s worth in it’

“There was chaos in the first corner, and I got lucky to come through,” said Redding after race two. “Then there was the crash between Jonny and Toprak. The pace in front, they just rolled the throttle. I was on the limit trying to get on the back of them. 

“I got on the back of them, and I was quite comfortable. I was able to come through on Bassani, Rinaldi and Lowes and was feeling quite good but literally at 110%. I was wrestling it. 

“It feels like I’m riding a f***ing alligator or something. I feel like I put my money’s worth in it. With a few laps to go, I got a small hole in the rear tyre on the right side, so I had no rear grip. 

“I was tipping in, and it was just coming around. I just wanted to finish. Alex passed me, Bassani passed me. We battled a bit, I tried to be defensive but there was no grip.”

Had Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea not taken each other out of the race, then Redding would obviously have been looking at a lower finish. But given the nightmare start he’s had at BMW, any luck that comes his way will surely be much appreciated. 

To be battling with the likes of Alex Lowes, Bassani and Michael Rinaldi, three riders that are on much better machinery - that’s at least a certainty in the case of Rinaldi and Lowes, who are on full factory Ducati and Kawasaki machinery - race two showed that Redding still has what it takes to challenge the very best, however, at this stage it’s fairly evident that the bike does not. 

Michael Van Der Mark suffers on WorldSBK return

Redding’s team-mate Michael Van Der Mark endured a very difficult return to WorldSBK action after finishing no higher than eighth in his home round. 

But given the extent of his leg injury, and injury that was causing the Dutchman to hobble all weekend, P8 in race two was a heroic effort. Last weekend’s Assen round was also Van Der Mark’s first time riding the M 1000 RR in 2022.  

After struggling to ride more than ‘four or five laps’ on Friday and Saturday, the former Honda and Yamaha rider was ‘happy’ with his effort, despite it being far from what he wanted or expected. 

"If I wasn’t sure, I wouldn’t have come," added Van Der Mark. "It was tough, especially Friday and Saturday. I couldn’t ride longer than four or five laps. On Saturday, when I did the whole race distance, I was really happy. I scored some points.

"I didn’t expect to do the whole distance because fitness and training wise, I couldn’t do a lot in the last couple of weeks. I couldn’t cycle a lot, I couldn’t walk. 

"It was good to get on the bike again and get bike fit. In Race 2, a lot of things happened around me. I gained 13 seconds compared to Saturday. 

"I finished eighth and I think we must be happy to be here. In Race 1, in the last couple of laps, I struggled a lot. Sunday was a lot better. As you can imagine, it’s not ideal."

After suffering his own problems, mainly technical as he failed to finish two out of the three races, Alex Lowes praised the efforts of Van Der Mark whilst claiming the BMW hasn’t ‘gone backwards’, in fact it's not 'as far away as they think'. 

Lowes stated: "Look at Mikey, one leg and finishing eighth. Redding was challenging to win here last year and won races last year. I raced with Mikey last year when he was with the BMW; I don’t think the bike has gone backwards, it’s just Scott’s joined the team coming from Ducati so that will take time to adjust. 

"It’s not gone backwards, the three guys at the front are going fast but it’s tight now, and it doesn’t take much to be there. 

"He was riding well; the bike was fast, and it will just take time to adjust. When Michael’s back fully fit and they’re pushing each other, I don’t think they’re as far away as they think."