WorldSBK

Scott Redding frustrated by form, eyes change of fortunes

Scott Redding sets his sights on regaining ground in the 2020 WorldSBK Championship after his two wins in Aragon are negated by a costly crash

Scott Redding has aired his frustration after failing to demonstrate the same level of performance he anticipated at Motorland Aragon during the most recent WorldSBK Championship rounds.

The ex-MotoGP rider came into two back-to-back WorldSBK rounds to be held at Aragon - a total of six races - just four points shy of Jonathan Rea, but left it 37 points adrift of his main rival with only three rounds remaining this season.

This is despite Ducati being tipped as the favourites at Aragon based on previous results, not least in 2019 when Alvaro Bautista romped to three dominant victories aboard the Panigale V4 R.

Ducati Panigale V4 review | Visordown test

“What frustrates me most is that Rinaldi can drive like he's on a Sunday outing with his buddies,” Redding told Speedweek. “His performance in Aragon was outstanding. I am very happy for him that he was able to win his first race. 

“But we have a motorcycle from the same manufacturer and I can't even get close to it. That slows me down in the World Cup, which is not fair. I use everything the team gives me, but it doesn't work.”

“Rea's motorcycle works. And if it doesn't work, he can still make it onto the podium. If our bike doesn't work, the disadvantage is greater. We have to get this under control and improve. There is no way we can win the first race and stumble in the others. This is unacceptable. 

“I looked at Bautista’s data from last year and found that as Ducati we had no advantage in Aragon. I didn't have the advantage of half a second on the back straight that he did. With this advantage I would have won all the races, but I didn't have it. That's why I never thought that we would dominate this event, I knew it would be tough. "

“If you have a team behind you that wants to win, then they open up more opportunities for you because they go backwards to solve your problems. Ducati has always had good results historically in Aragon, but that's more because the riders like this track on the motorcycle. 

“My weekend wasn't bad, but we stumbled in a few corners. I lost at the entrance and exit because the front tire kept slipping. We know this problem. I don't think it was due to the set-up or the tires, but rather to the character of the bike. 

“The Kawasaki and Ducati have various advantages, which are more important depending on the route. We have to understand how we can minimise that and thus close the gap with Kawasaki, on tracks where they are stronger.”

Scott Redding has pushed Jonathan Rea to a higher level

You only had to see Redding’s outburst of emotion - crying in the back of the pit box - when he crashed during the first Teruel WorldSBK race to see how much winning this title means to him.

Even so, it is indicative of the stiff opposition he faces in Rea, not just for the Ulsterman’s exceptional ability to squeeze the maximum from his package but the way his mental fortitude allows him to do so even on the rare occasions he is not the obvious favourite.

In many ways, the Rea of 2020 is the strongest he has ever been. Though last season saw Rea collect himself mentally like never before as he faced up to a foe in Bautista, he rarely actually battled the Spaniard directly on track as their fortunes went in wildly different directions.

By contrast, Rea has had to get his boxing gloves out several times this year but while Redding has definitely taken the Kawasaki man to a higher level this year, it’s a level Redding himself struggles to sustain in every single race.

To his credit, Redding has performed superbly this season and while the man himself will have targeted the title from the outset, he would be pulling off a minor miracle to have unseated Rea at the very first attempt. 

That said, there are still three rounds to go and Redding might well find himself better suited to an underdog role to get the better of Rea… it’s going to be a thrilling end to the strangest of years.

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