Scott Redding’s maiden WorldSBK outing gets rave reviews from Ducati

Scott Redding impressed his Ducati team on his WorldSBK debut at Phillip Island after picking up a trio of podiums on the Ducati Panigale V4 R

Scott Redding - Ducati
Scott Redding - Ducati Ducati team manager Serafino Foti has praised Scott Redding’s ‘professionalism’ in handling the pressure of his maiden WorldSBK Championship weekend and coming home with a trio of podiums.

The ex-MotoGP rider and 2019 British Superbike Champion made his WorldSBK debut in Australia ahead of the coronavirus lockdown and shone in the run up to the races, topping all three practice sessions.

Come race day Redding was in the thick of the action in a trio of hugely competitive races, finishing third in all three exchanges, each within a second of victory.

Though it came a year after his Ducati predecessor (and former MotoGP counterpart) Alvaro Bautista swept the board with three wins, Redding’s performance was hailed by the manufacturer itself, saying he managed expectations with aplomb.

“It’s like Scott has been with us for many years. We know what we do with all our riders and to create an excellent relationship with them. Scott is a very simple guy but at the same time is really professional. To be honest, he didn’t impress us because we strongly believe in him. 

“We know his potential and we know that he would be competitive this season. But one thing that did impress us: as you know, his first race was not easy for him because everyone expected a lot from him. From my point of view, he was very, very good because he managed the pressure well all weekend.”

Scott Redding - Ducati
Scott Redding - Ducati

How impressive was Scott Redding’s debut?

Redding was never going to have it easy in round one when Bautista’s dominance on his debut a year ago was still fresh in everyone’s minds. Indeed, their similar career paths ensured there were plenty of parallels to their maiden outings.

However, expecting three wins out of the box was always going to be ambitious and given the competitiveness of the opening weekend, which saw Yamaha take an evident step forward and Kawasaki’s come on strong with Alex Lowes too, it was reassuring to see Redding right in the mix.

The Briton recognised his main weakness was not being daring enough on the brakes, particularly into turn one, but Redding didn’t otherwise put a foot wrong and didn’t hold back in the heat of some intense battles. The margins over his main rivals in the practice sessions also suggest he has some serious single lap pace too.

A few tenths here or there and it could have easily been three wins – though you could say that about a few riders – but given Redding arguably has more to come of the riders he was racing with, it bodes well for the future.

It also doesn’t hurt he put a firm stamp on team leader status on a weekend that saw Chaz Davies perplexingly off the pace throughout.

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