Scott Redding to make shock move to BMW for 2022 WorldSBK

Scott Redding announces he will leave Ducati at the end of the season to join the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team for the 2022 WorldSBK season 

Scott Redding - Ducati

Scott Redding has confirmed he will make the surprise switch to BMW Motorrad for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship after being nudged out of the Ducati line-up.

The former MotoGP rider, who stepped up to the WorldSBK Championship with Ducati in 2020 after winning the 2019 BSB Championship, is in the midst of the 2021 title battle with Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu.

However, amid paddock speculation that Ducati was set to replace him with Alvaro Bautista, Redding has instead turned to BMW for next season.

He will compete in the Shaun Muir Racing-run factory set-up alongside Michael van der Mark. The manufacturer says talks are ongoing with Tom Sykes about an alternative deal for 2022.

“This is a very special day for me to announce that I will be joining BMW Motorrad Motorsport for the 2022 World Superbike Championship campaign. They were the first manufacturer that really wanted me to sign for them in WorldSBK, and I’m thrilled that we have been able to reach this agreement. 

“This was a very difficult decision for me because I have enjoyed my time with Ducati immensely. I have raced for them in MotoGP™, British Superbikes and WorldSBK. They helped me win the British Superbike title in my first attempt in 2019 and I was able to finish runner-up in my first season in World Superbikes with their support last year.

“I will always have a special place in my heart for the people at Ducati and their incredible fans. My only focus now is to continue giving my maximum for Ducati and my crew for the remainder of 2021. We are still fighting to win the title and I’m determined to end our relationship in positive fashion. 

“But I feel it is the right time to make the move to BMW Motorrad and take on a new and exciting challenge. It’s clear how much they want me to be part of their project. They have demonstrated dedication and development since their come back to WorldSBK. 

“I’m honoured that they have put their trust in me to help them achieve their goals and I am completely convinced that with their commitment, ambition and resources we can enjoy a very successful relationship together.”

How will Scott Redding fare at BMW WorldSBK?

The jury is out on whether Redding left - as he intimates in his quotes - or was pushed, as suggested elsewhere, but BMW offers an intriguing proposition for the Briton nevertheless.

On the one hand it can be argued Redding has out-performed the Ducati Panigale V4 R, which though evidently quick is seemingly difficult to get into the optimum operating window, while - as crass as it sounds - it clearly works better with a more compact frame.

Nonetheless, Redding pushed Jonathan Rea to a new level in 2020 with five wins en route to the runners-up spot, while he isn't out of fray in 2021 either following a strong run of results at Assen and Most.

On the downside, some careless errors - both on track and tactically - have evidently dented his reputation among his employers, while the man himself has indicated a frustration at getting the Panigale V4 R to work to his liking consistently.

With this in mind, BMW represents an interesting opportunity for him but he will hope the firm's new M 1000 RR develops into some form over the remainder of the 2021 season having shown only modest performance gains over the S 1000 RR it replaced. Still, the bike should be more to his liking, while he has a similar frame to new team-mate Michael van der Mark.

With Bautista almost certain to be replacing him at Ducati, the comparison between the two will be a fascinating one... not least finding out whether the Italian firm has spent a little too much time wearing rose-tinted spectacles where the inconsistent Spaniard is concerned.

Either way, Ducati possible loss is certainly BMW's gain.