Redding ‘not confident, would be happy if I could get some top six results’

Scott Redding says a top six finish during the season-opener in Phillip Island would be a success for BMW after their WorldSBK pre-season woes.
Scott Redding, BMW WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023
Scott Redding, BMW WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023

Redding, along with factory BMW teammate Michael Van Der Mark, Garrett Gerloff and Loris Baz, have all struggled to match the pace set at the front of the WorldSBK field during pre-season testing. 

Riders from Yamaha, Ducati, Kawasaki and Honda have consistently been ahead of the leading BMW rider during tests at Jerez, Portimao and Phillip Island, which is why Redding is not feeling ‘super confident’ about his chances. 

"We've been working on giving me a better feel for the bike,” said Redding after the two day test in Australia. 

“When the track started to have more grip, it was better. We tried a few things again to improve rear grip and worked on the electronics to give me even more feel in that area of ​​the bike. We still have some work to do. 

“Now we are starting the season with a double event. I'm not feeling super confident yet, but it's getting there the more I ride the bike. And the field is extremely close together at the moment. 

“If you look at the lap times, it's very close between everyone. It is therefore difficult to specify the goals for the first two races. 

“In addition, racing is still different than testing. I would be happy if I could get some top six results in the first few races. We'll see where we are after the first race and build on that."

Redding was not alone in struggling as Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes endured a nightmare test in Phillip Island.

Unable to match teammate Jonathan Rea in both Jerez and Portimao, Lowes was again off the pace with regards to his teammate, and confirmed he’s struggling compared to last year when he went very well at the same track.

Alex Lowes Australian WorldSBK. 20 February
Alex Lowes Australian WorldSBK. 20 February

"I feel like we are struggling a bit," added Lowes. "The updates we had in the winter don’t seem to be working as well here. We made some positive steps in the last session today, but we have some work to do. 

"What we found in Europe, in cooler test conditions, has not been the same here. I did not do a time attack but the position on the timesheets is still a lot lower than I would want it to be. 

"I just used race tyres but we still have work to do. We raced here at the end of last year and right now I don’t feel as comfortable as I did then. I was faster in the morning than the afternoon, when it was a bit gripper, and I have been wary to not make too many mistakes. 

"We saw a lot of crashes in WorldSBK and WorldSSP. So I just wanted to keep my powder dry in some ways, but I have not been ‘sandbagging’ and then feel like I am going to win the race. 

"That said I was 15th in testing in 2020 and then went on to win a race, so that might be a good sign!"

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