Ducati hints at MotoGP lifeline for Scott Redding if he wins WorldSBK

Ducati drops a hint that Scott Redding could be considered for a return to MotoGP if he wins the WorldSBK title in 2020 or 2021

Scott Redding - Aruba.it Ducati

Scott Redding could be in line for a return to the MotoGP premier class if he takes the WorldSBK Championship by storm and secures the title over the next two years.

The Briton exited MotoGP in 2018 after struggling for form with the Aprilia Racing team and took up the opportunity to compete in the British Superbike Championship, famously clinching the title with Paul Bird Motorsport.

That success has duly earned him a promotion to the factory Ducati WorldSBK team for 2020 to replace the Honda-bound Alvaro Bautista, with Redding set to make his debut at Phillip Island twelve months after his predecessor swept to a triple win.

With the Spaniard setting a precedent by winning 11 consecutive races, Redding’s own targets for 2020 are subsequently high. Ducati, however, says it wants him to win the title within his two-year contract.

If he achieves this, Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti says it puts him in a good position for a return to MotoGP because the manufacturer would rather promote from within.

“I don't think Scott Redding's MotoGP career is over, but he has a two-year contract with the Aruba team to try to win the title,” Ciabatti said. “Even if he wins the first year, we will try to repeat success the following year.

“MotoGP is an increasingly competitive championship, in which there are very few riders ready to replace those who are about to retire, even if [Fabio] Quartararo is an example. A return to MotoGP could be a goal for Scott, but only after winning the WSBK title.

“In MotoGP, there are very few replacements for the riders and Ducati looks in-house.”

Indeed, Ciabatti believes Redding can emulate Bautista by proving victorious on his debut in Australia next week

“The goal for Scott must be to start well and continue, since there are a lot of opponents. There will be tracks he will have to learn like Imola, it is of course with the bike and with the team from the start, and I think that could be a motivation for Davies too, who like Scott can aim for the title . "

"Can Scott win in Australia? I think so, the bike is competitive, and Scott has always been fast at Phillip Island, so we can start with that idea.”

Could Scott Redding really return to MotoGP?

If Scott Redding wins the WorldSBK title in 2020 and/or 2021, there is certainly a strong case for Ducati – or indeed anyone else – to consider promoting him back to MotoGP if he wants to.

It would certainly be a huge endorsement for Redding to return to MotoGP having come via 125 and Moto2 first time round, then BSB and WorldSBK the next time. Indeed, at a time when MotoGP isn’t looking terribly closely at WorldSBK for options, it could be a mutually beneficial exercise for the two Dorna-owned series.

One can imagine Bautista had a similar clause to return in his contract when he made the somewhat begrudging decision to swap MotoGP for WorldSBK so one can imagine Redding has also sought some assurances there is a second MotoGP life beyond this if he performs.

Of course, Redding has competed with Ducati before in MotoGP when he competed as a Pramac Racing rider alongside current factory man Danilo Petrucci. Viewed in the context of Petrucci’s status today, Redding may be out of sight right now but rapid success in WorldSBK means he definitely won’t be out of mind.