Scott Redding: I say it as it is… and it’s gotten me into trouble

Scott Redding heaps praise on the 'massive' impact his crew chief Giovanni Crupi has had on him... not least during 'that' Andrew Irwin fracas!

Scott Redding, Andrew Irwin

Scott Redding has credited the ‘massive’ impact crew chief Giovanni Crupi has made on his approach to racing on and off track, revealing it was imperative he joined him in his decision to progress from British Superbikes to the WorldSBK Championship.

Crupi was placed with Redding as the ex-MotoGP rider made his superbike racing debut in BSB with the Paul Bird Motorsport Ducati team and has been identified as a major factor in perfecting the Briton’s approach to winning the title at his first attempt.

As such, Crupi follows Redding to the factory Ducati team in WorldSBK, the two-time MotoGP podium winner revealing it was the most significant stipulation when deciding whether to accept the deal.

“[It was] Massive! It was my biggest push,” he said. “Obviously, Ducati have got good crew, they’ve got a good team together, but my relationship with Giovanni was something I haven’t really had for a long time with a crew chief.

“He understands me. He knows I work hard, he knows I like to have fun, that I do some parties. And above all, he knows how to manage me.

Redding points to Crupi in helping him remain grounded following an explosive exchange between himself and Andrew Irwin at Cadwell Park when the Honda rider swiped the title contender out at a potentially crucial point in the season.

The ensuing expletive-laden confrontation – which was filmed from a camera on Redding’s Ducati – was widely viewed and commented on but the Briton says it was Crupi’s intervention that stopped it from spiralling further into the media than what had already been captured. If you need a reminder, here is the full exchange...

“So, last year I got really angry in the season when I was taken out by [Andrew] Irwin. I’ve gotten in trouble before for saying the wrong things. I say it as it is, and it’s gotten me in trouble.

“Giovanni grabbed me, and he told me: don’t do this, don’t do that. I went to do an interview and he stood there; he really didn’t want me to put myself in trouble. For someone to think that of you, it means there’s a lot of trust there.”

Giovanni Crupi: The substance to Scott Redding’s style

As superb as Redding was on his way to the 2019 BSB title, the impact of Crupi’s presence alongside him could certainly be seen in the way his man kept his cool on track and (mostly) if not always off it.

As Redding says, he ‘says it like it is’ and while we all love a bit of showmanship and emotion in the media, his somewhat inelegant handling of the Irwin collision was as eyebrow raising as it was admittedly great TV!

It’s no coincidence Redding stayed relatively quiet on the subject again thereafter, Crupi no doubt reminding him to look forward rather than get bogged down in reflecting on past events.

Any crew chief can be superb at what they do but if they lack rapport with the rider then the success will always be limited. There is clearly a strong relationship between the pair so it was logical for Redding to sell them both as a package.

The stakes are certainly going to be higher in WorldSBK where Ducati doesn’t have the same – or any – advantage over at least Kawasaki, making it the true test of their working relationship.