"I wanted to stop racing... it was really awful, shit" – Scott Redding

BSB Champion Scott Redding reveals he was very close to quitting the sport after being axed by Aprilia in MotoGP only revive his career in Superbikes

Scott Redding

Scott Redding says he feels he has always been in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ throughout his time in grand prix, suggesting his decision to graduate to MotoGP a year too early set his career on the wrong track.

The Briton, who made history in 2008 by becoming the youngest ever grand prix winner with a 125GP success at Donington Park aged 15, Redding came close to winning the 2013 Moto2 World Championship and took the opportunity to step up to the premier class with Gresini Honda, albeit on slower ‘Open’ class machinery

In 2015, Redding re-joined Marc VDS for its MotoGP effort but was hampered by uncompetitive Honda machinery before a two-year stint at Pramac Ducati saw him lose out in a head-to-head with Danilo Petrucci over who would receive current spec machinery.

A move to Aprilia in 2018 represented a career nadir, with Redding becoming openly critical about the bike’s lack of performance, leading to him being fined for his comments by the team. Dropped at the end of the season, Redding proceeded to make the surprise move to BSB, where he would ride Superbike machinery for the first time on circuits unfamiliar to him.

Though it was a risk for his career, Redding tells Speedweek.de that he knew he could show his talent if he had the machinery capable of allowing him to do so. He duly proved himself by winning the BSB in his first season and earning himself a plum ride with Ducati as its factory rider in WorldSBK for 2020.

It was a vindicating moment for Redding, who reveals he was close to quitting racing altogether because he felt he’d been chewed up by the sport once he’d reached the ‘top’.

“I would have gone snowmobiling…”

“I wanted to stop racing at the end of 2018,” he said. “I was through. And I thought about whether racing is really what I want. My situation was very uncomfortable - then I got the chance in the BSB. And a team and a motorcycle that I can win with. I would have gone snowmobiling, no matter what, the main thing I can win.

“I wanted to show that I can win. When I went to the BSB the expectations were clear: I wanted to win. That was my expectation, not necessarily from outside. Now it's the same. »

"When you're quick, you're always wondering if it's you or the bike. That's why results are so important to your mind. If you do not get good results, you fall into a black hole. It is not always the rider. Sometimes it happens that a rider who is unsuccessful at the moment changes his motorbike and then he is fast again.

“That's why I'm happy about where I am now. Last year around the time it was really shit, it was awful. Now I have twelve successful months behind me and feel great.”

“Wrong place, wrong time” for Scott Redding’s MotoGP career

Reflecting further on his MotoGP career, Redding says he regrets not staying in Moto2 for another season to try and win the title. That way he would have swerved Open machinery (the class was phased out after 2015) and possibly come in on more competitive satellite machinery, namely the Tech 3 Yamaha being campaigned by Bradley Smith at the time.

"I've often been in the wrong place at the wrong time in my career," 45. "If I drove another Moto2 season after 2013 and then climbed into the MotoGP class, I would probably be at Tech3 Yamaha landed. Then my career would have been completely different.

“Instead, I sat on an open Honda, that was the wrong cornerstone. Then in 2015 I came to Marc VDS, which was the worst year for Honda. Then I switched to Ducati, which was not bad. But I never had the material to win.

"My expectation is always that I can win, that I am successful. Eighth, tenth or worse - that does not make sense for me to race. When I left Pramac, they got plant machines for the year after. That completely demoralised me. Then I went to Aprilia and really tried very hard to develop the bike. But they did not take the step forward until I left.”