"Life more precious than a cheque": Scott Redding firm on WorldSBK safety risks

Scott Redding says his life is worth more than his pay cheque if there is a question over safety, says WorldSBK rivals that take advantage have 'no brains'

Scott Redding

Scott Redding says he would have stood firm with riders refusing to race during the 2019 WorldSBK event over concerns about track safety standards at the San Juan Villicum circuit.

The ex-MotoGP rider made his WorldSBK debut in 2020 and will thus make his debut at the venue, tucked into the foothills of the vast Andes Mountain range, this weekend.

It is also WorldSBK’s first visit to the circuit since it was embroiled in controversy after several riders - as much as 90% of the grid initially according to Eugene Laverty - refused to start Race 1.

They were angry the FIM had left it until the night before Friday free practice to homologate the circuit following a full resurfacing in the run up to the event. 

However, the incorrect use of materials for the newly-laid asphalt coupled with the scorching conditions led to slick oily fluids rising to the track surface, making the already dusty circuit treacherous.

The race eventually went ahead when several riders - under pressure from teams that were in turn reportedly being lobbied by officials - took the start after all. Six riders stood their ground though, with Redding suggesting he would have been among them.

“Two years ago in Argentina some riders went on strike, others rode,” the Ducati rider told Speedweek. “I didn't understand why someone was taking the risk. Racing is very important to us riders, but it's not everything. I would like to travel home in one piece. It's our job. 

“Like everyone else, I go to work and don't want to be harmed. My life is precious and worth more to me than the check I get for my work. Some office stallions earn more than I do - I know some.

Redding went on to point the finger at subsequent opportunists who fracture the united stance of riders because they see it as a chance of getting a higher-than-average result on the board.

“Even if 80 percent of riders want to go on strike, there are still riders who have no brains and say to themselves 'if the others don't want to drive, I'll get the win'. These guys are then on the podium, although they usually only drive around between 10th and 15th place. For my part, I won't ride just to see my name on a list. "

"Our job is dangerous and I'm most concerned about a rain race - the risk of falling in the dry is rather low. In a race you push each other at faster and faster times and at some point you fall because you went over the limit. It's easy to do in the rain."

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