5 Reasons why Scott Redding will take 2020 WorldSBK by storm

The storm is coming... and Scott Redding is whipping it up. Here are the reasons why Visordown thinks he will be a WorldSBK revelation in 2020 for Ducati

Scott Redding

Scott Redding’s time in BSB may have been brief but he most certainly made his mark.

From MotoGP-to-WorldSBK via BSB may be an unorthodox route but Redding is certainly the most exciting addition to the grid since, well, the rider he is replacing at Aruba.it Ducati Alvaro Bautista.

Though we aren’t in a golden era of direct BSB-to-WorldSBK success as it was in the late-2000s - early twenty-teens, there is a lot of anticipation surrounding the Brit after nailing his maiden season in Superbikes, in turn demonstrating why he is perhaps one of the UK’s most underrated racers.

Champion Jonathan Rea may be looking to Toprak Razgatlioglu as the biggest threat to his WorldSBK crown, but this is why we think he should be looking a little closer to home…

Scott Redding rose to the BSB challenge

While Redding’s experience at the highest levels of motorcycling would ordinarily make him seem almost over-qualified to compete in BSB against a myriad of riders either in the twilight of their careers or climbing the ranks, by avoiding the British racing scene altogether until 2019 it instead created a paradox – a high-profile experienced British rider ‘stepping down’ but on bikes, against rivals and on circuits he didn’t know.

Falling short in just one of those areas would have been enough to lose a BSB title. And not winning the BSB title would have been regarded as a failure for a rider of his stature. In short, this was a risk no matter which way he approached this challenge.

While doubters can legitimately point to the fact he was almost certainly riding the quickest bike with the best-funded team, Redding may have written plenty of headlines with his mere presence but drill down into the details and he still had to negotiate a number of hurdles to get the job done.

While this doesn’t make his switch from BSB to WorldSBK any easier than if he’d come directly from MotoGP, it does demonstrate he has the nous to adapt his riding style and mental approach.

Superbikes suits his riding style

A smooth hustler, you could always tell the moment Redding began to push on in races  

Of anyone in BSB, you could almost excuse one, two or more race day ‘over-enthusiasms’ from Redding in the BSB cauldron in an attempt to go quickly on alien machinery with few gizmos available to save him, but his sheer consistency on the Ducati Panigale V4 R was arguably more impressive than his speed.

He suffered only four non-scores in 26 BSB races – two crashes when he was taken out by another rider (well, just Andrew Irwin), one low finish due to an erroneous tyre choice and another when he was penalised from finishing second on the road. He didn’t crash out of a race once on his own.

There were moments on the bike, but Redding rarely ever looked like he was pushing beyond his capabilities and any gnarly moments were dealt with calmly and effortlessly. 

The competition levels will be different in WorldSBK but the circuits are also larger, smoother and more familiar than they were in BSB… while that top speed advantage is definitely a more potent weapon on the world stage where the venues often feature longer straights.

He knows his way around ‘f***ing electronics’

They key difference between BSB and WorldSBK is the use of electronics in the latter, which has been enough to flummox other riders that have made the step from the national series to the world championship.

Indeed, in many ways it’s a critique against WorldSBK in that riders are finding it hard to make the break into the upper echelons of the sport because of the technical know-how required to programme the machines. It’s certainly driven a wedge between BSB riders wanting to step up to WorldSBK – gone are the days of wild-cards killing giants on well-sorted domestic machinery.

You only need to look at Tommy Bridewell’s trouble learning what all the buttons and dials did on his WorldSBK Ducati during his brief outing earlier in the year, while Leon Haslam has evidently struggled with brakes that rely on computers as much as it does hitting your mark.

While Redding has made it quite clear electronic intervention isn’t his preferred style of racing - as this interview shows – he has a head start on making them work.

Tuning a MotoGP machine and tuning a WorldSBK isn’t the same thing and many riders have commented that the latter actually has more parameters to work in, but one could argue it is harder to go from MotoGP to BSB than it is to move straight into WorldSBK.

The Ducati WorldSBK team can be built around him

Redding has a chance to come straight into the Ducati WorldSBK team as a #1 rider in much the same way Bautista did. Whether he adopts the same sense of privacy as Bautista when it comes to working with Chaz Davies remains to be seen, but Redding has a more approachable camaraderie than his predecessor.

Such was Ducati’s interest in Redding’s BSB campaign, they sent Giovanni Crupi to the UK to work as his engineer and it’s understood the rider is keen to maintain that relationship when he steps up to WorldSBK, though Crupi was evasive when quizzed during the final round at Brands Hatch.

While Davies’ inconsistent 2019 form enjoyed enough highlights to suggest he can be a factor in 2020, Redding will see himself as just as capable as former MotoGP rival Bautista to assume he will come in as its lead performer.

He’s a personality in a series lacking exactly that

With the greatest respect to those currently competing in WorldSBK, while the series matches MotoGP in terms of professionalism, it isn’t carried by the character needed to elevate into a must-see when it rolls into town. 

That’s not a critique, but WorldSBK definitely feels more like a business than a sport at times… in short, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see Jonathan Rea riding in a people-drawn throne or stripping out of his leathers.

Redding, however, is bold, brash and – judging by those outlandish BSB celebrations – unashamed. It’s a liveliness that made him a favourite in MotoGP, though the modest success at that level meant his honesty and vivacious personality were limited to media debriefs and TV interviews, rather than celebrations on track or the podium. Perhaps he went a little far with its remonstration with Andrew Irwin when he was taken out at Cadwell Park, but either way it was a fun 'popcorn moment'.

We’ve seen hints of WorldSBK trying to create more of a buzz with set pieces and the open paddock policy, the latter of which is surely going to be the perfect stage – literally – for Redding to embrace his large and growing fanbase. 

He’ll be quick on track and – for WorldSBK’s sake – he’ll be good for business too…