Scott Redding on WorldSBK debut: Ducatisti expect a lot from me but...

Scott Redding keeps a lid on his expectations heading into the opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship despite dominant practice pace

Scott Redding - Ducati

Scott Redding has tempered expectations of him claiming victory on his WorldSBK debut at Phillip Island despite a dominant turn on the first day of free practice for the opening round in Australia.

The former MotoGP rider and 2019 British Superbike Champion shrugged off a rain affected FP1 session that limited running to top the timesheets by four tenths of a second during FP2.

Indeed, considering the close lap times during pre-season testing at the same circuit earlier in the week, the margin over the opposition has turned some heads but while Redding is aware there will be a lot of expectation for him to mirror Alvaro Bautista’s dominance twelve months ago, he played down predictions of a win.

“It was a very positive day even though we couldn't complete many laps in the first session. We also did a great job because I lapped completely alone almost all the time without being able to exploit any slipstream. The race pace is good and that gives us a lot of confidence.

“Expectations? I understand that the Ducatisti expect a lot from me but, as I've already said, there are many things I still have to learn. I can't hide the fact that getting on the podium tomorrow would be an extraordinary result.”

All manufacturers in the hunt heading into qualifying

Though some will see Redding’s top time as a hint that he has been holding back his true form in testing, a delve into the lap charts show victory is still wide open this weekend.

Over a race simulation it has been Yamaha that has caught the eye with Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu looking just as quick over a longer distance as they do over a single lap.

Moreover, Leon Haslam has upgraded his targets to challenging for a win after posting the fourth quickest time in FP2, while Jonathan Rea – despite a mediocre start to the weekend – can never be discounted on the Kawasaki.

As for BMW, Superpole master Tom Sykes was in the mix in seventh position with no doubt more in the tank when he fits the sticky rubber on Saturday.

In short, all five manufacturers have shown form capable of challenging for victories this weekend – a statement that hasn’t been uttered for some years.