Scott Redding reveals he came ‘very close’ to BMW WorldSBK deal

Scott Redding reveals he turned down a 2020 WorldSBK deal with BMW in the hope Ducati would promote him to its factory team instead

Scott Redding - Ducati

Scott Redding has revealed he took a calculated risk in holding out for a Ducati deal for the 2020 WorldSBK season rather than accepting an offer to step up to the series with BMW.

The Briton was left high and dry on the international rider market when he exited MotoGP at the conclusion of the 2018 season (“everyone just said pfffhhh”) prior to switching to the British Superbike Championship with the Paul Bird Motorsport Be Wiser Ducati team.

The move proved to be an inspired one, Redding powering to the title in his first season and earning himself a return to the world stage on the factory Ducati.

However, Redding explains it could have been very different had he accepted the first attractive offer that came his way when he was approached by the Shaun Muir Racing-run factory BMW team.

At the time the team, which returned in a full factory capacity for 2019 with the new generation BMW S1000RR, was sourcing a new partner for Tom Sykes, with Redding telling Speedweek they offered him a contract he was ‘very close’ to signing.

However, as well as having designs on a direct move up through the Ducati ranks amid rumours Alvaro Bautista was on his way out, Redding wasn’t convinced the BMW package would be competitive enough from the off for him.

“Very close [to signing],” he said. “I had to make sure I got into a situation where I could win the title. The new BMW has not won a race to date. I therefore asked myself whether and when that would happen and how constant the motorcycle would be. 

“At Ducati, I knew that the bike was victorious and good enough to win the title. This is good for your mentality because you then have to worry about five things less. But I had to take a risk: If Bautista had chosen Ducati, I would have been stuck.”