Ten Minutes With Scott Redding

One of the joys of living down in the West Country is that we occasionally bump into GP riders like Scott Redding, as you do. Scott was down at a local kart track with his KX450 supermoto bike, preparing for the first round of Moto2 next weekend. He’d just returned from the final pre-season test at Jerez…

On recent months…
“I’ve been living in Spain since late December, mainly for training. The Jerez test was good. We had a four-day test but we had one day of rain, which was good for us as we struggled in the wet last year. But I was quite happy to get some laps in, and we ended up fastest in the rain, which was good. In the dry, we had really bad chatter on the first day but there were cars there for 7 days before our test. We’re on the pace anyway. We had a new chassis to test, which is similar to last year’s and we’ve got the same set-up as last year – we try to change things and end up in the same place, so we couldn’t have been too wrong last year.”

On Kalex…
“Kalex are really good, as everyone gets treated the same. With Suter, Marquez got everything and everyone else got whatever’s left. The Kalex guys have been really good. I know I’m getting the same stuff as Pol Espargaro and he gets the same bits as me. That’s a fair deal, and I couldn’t ask for anything more at the moment.”

On changing things for 2013…
“It’s more mental riding style, not so much physical riding style. When I’m out riding, I need to save the tyres and mentally be stronger than the other riders. I’m mentally strong anyway, but I need to work on weakening the other guys around me because this year is the year I’ve got to go for the championship, as that’s the only way to get to MotoGP on a good bike.”

On dieting…
“We’ve got the Moto2 weight limit this year, but it doesn’t effect Espargaro because he’s on the limit and doesn’t have to carry weight. I’m still 11 kilos over the limit, still working to lose weight. I’m 75.5 kilos now and I was 76.5 kilos last year. During this winter, I was down to 73 and I was having 600 calories a day, living off 4 rice cakes and two bananas a day, and training at the same time. It got to the point I was sleeping three times a day, and then had some advice that if I carried on like that, I’d do some real damage to myself. Now I eat more, more veg and low fat foods. I’m even pulling away from chicken and eating turkey, as it’s fewer calories. It’s hard when we’re travelling. We had a 30-hour drive home from the Jerez test and the challenge was not to eat on the whole journey. The only thing you could eat was a lemon. When people are relying on you to lose weight and there’s nothing you can do, you resort to nutty things like that.”

On riding the Ducati MotoGP bike at Mugello…
“It was different, I’ll say that much. The power was unreal, just to get used to going down the main straight, full throttle, and use all six gears was stage one. I was like, ‘fuck me’, I’ve got a lot of learning to do. But we had two days on the bike and by the end of the first day it started to slow down a bit. My arms and legs were just fucked from holding on so tight. The thing is an animal. It’s like a bucking bronco, trying to chuck you off the back on the gas and throw you over the front when you brake. There’s so much G force going back and forth. Once I get on a bike like that, I’ll be in my element. It was such an experience.”

On the electronics…
“It was weird; you’ve just got to trust it. They said, “you’ve got anti-wheelie”, so I came onto the straight, hooked fourth and nearly went off the back. It’s only when I got back to the box that they said it could be overridden. The TC wasn’t too bad, you’ve just got to figure it out, learning where it would spin. All I’ve thought about in racing during corner exit is what the rear’s doing, but with that system you don’t have to. It’s more about line choice.”

On lap times…
“In three corners, I was losing a second to Rossi at Mugello. Just three corners. It was the tighter corners that I struggled with, but there’s so much grip with the Bridgestone front. I was 1.3 off of Rossi. It was the first sector where I lost the time. Some places I was faster, and the Ducati guys said they’d never seen anyone as fast through the Arrabiata section up the hill, I don’t know why. Me and fast corners bond well. To be 1.3 off Rossi at Mugello after two days, I was pretty happy with that. I didn’t want to crash it, and we aimed to be faster than the CRTs, and we were, and I was 0.8s from Bautista’s fastest time.”

On nearly getting a MotoGP seat…
“My manager tried really hard to get me in MotoGP next year. I nearly had the Gresini Honda ride, and nearly had the Yamaha ride (Bradley Smith’s). It’s one of these things. I thought things would be better with the weight limit in Moto2, but as it turns out, it hasn’t effected my direct rivals. If I go top two in the championship, I should get a good ride in MotoGP, that’s sort of how it works. I’ve got to do it now. I’ve got the team, I’ve got the bike, the manager, everything, and there’s no reason why I can’t go for the championship. If I can’t, then there’s no point in me chasing for a seat in MotoGP.”

On WSBK…
“We had options to go to World Superbike, but for me at 20 years old, I can’t go there. When young riders go there, it’s because they can’t get anything else in GP. If I have to go superbike at some point, then fair enough, but I wouldn’t want to go there unless I’ve had a career in MotoGP. I’d rather go and fit windows and enjoy life.”

On making a living…
“I’d say the top five in Moto2 are getting paid. I also know there are riders paying £800,000 to get a ride, and minimum 250k, for a Moto2 seat. For me, if I had to do that, I would do better things with 800k than ride a bike for a year. But the countries where these guys are coming from, the government help them out. For English riders, we get fuck all. Mike De Meglio, he’s an ex-world champion. He had a house, a car, and now he has no house, and no car and he’s in debt because he’s paid to ride. For what? Some of the stories you hear are nuts.”

 

Thanks to Marc VDS for the pics…

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