Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 09 Nov 2014
Britain’s Scott Redding enjoyed a strong final race with his GO&FUN Gresini Honda team crossing the line in tenth place ahead of numerous factory bikes at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
In free practice Redding had felt most comfortable on Bridgestone’s new asymmetric front tyre but only had one to use, meaning he’d start Sunday’s race on rubber that’d already done seven laps. A strong start saw Redding establish a fair lead on his production Honda counterparts but his tyre soon began to drop off.
However, a brief rain shower towards the mid-distance saved it for the 21-year-old, who will move onto a factory RC213V with the Marc VDS team next season.
“It was a good race today” explained Redding. “I started the race with a seven lap old front tyre and the soft rear and to be honest they started to drop off quite a lot so the rain kind of helped. I took advantage of that and got stuck in with the other guys and didn’t hesitate. I had a little battle with Bradley [Smith], Alvaro [Bautista] and a few other guys but when it started to dry out the soft tyre dropped off again. I did the best I could do.”
Redding enjoyed a strong battle with compatriot Bradley Smith after the Tech 3 Yamaha rider dropped out of sixth place following an incident off-track. Despite riding superior machinery, Smith eventually succumbed to the pressure applied by his fellow Brit, dropping back to 14th position.
“Any time I passed Bradley I kind of felt hatred from him as he passed me back straight away!” Redding continued. “He was so aggressive he didn’t even hold the line, so I’d go back underneath him and he’d come back again, then I’d go back on him again and after that he kind of gave up a little bit or was struggling or whatever. It was nice to have a battle with him, it’s been a long time and to come out on top for once is great. I took advantage of the weather conditions and had to make a few aggressive moves but I made the most of it.”
The tricky conditions played into Redding’s hands by both saving his worn tyre and levelling the field. His RCV1000R has been down almost 10mph on his competitors this season meaning he’s struggled in outright battles when fighting for a top ten result.
“Some corners were quite wet but others were bone dry, so it was difficult as you didn’t know where to make time up as you didn’t know if it would be wet or dry. I had nothing to think about apart from being the first open Honda and I had many seconds on those guys so I just kept putting the hammer down and taking the risks.
“The problem this year has been that I always ask myself where I could have finished if I had a decent bike, if this happened if that happened. Next year with the right material underneath me we’ll see what can happen! I have to be 110% dedicated and put everything in to next year to get the best results I can.”
Redding will get a first taste of Honda’s factory RC213V tomorrow as the post-season test gets underway at the Valencia circuit. Unlike some riders, like World Champion Marc Marquez, who have opted to take Monday off, Redding says he’ll be one of the first to leave pit lane on his new bike.
“If the sun is out I will be heading down pit lane pretty soon tomorrow afternoon ticking over waiting for the light to go green” he said. “If it’s raining, we’ll have to wait and see but I’d quite like to get some laps in as we’ve not had many wet races this season.”