Why Scott Redding chose to walk away from a factory Honda for 2016

Author: Oli Rushby Pics: Bonnie Lane Posted: 01 Sep 2015

Redding will leave Honda next season

Not only did Scott Redding leave this year’s British Grand Prix with his best ever result in the premier class, a huge weight had also been lifted from his shoulders because the news he would ride for Pramac Ducati in 2016 had been confirmed.

The move came as no real surprise, with rumours of the switch surfacing during the previous round in Brno although some insiders believed the official announcement would be made at the next round at Misano.

It’s widely known Redding has struggled to gel with Honda’s RC213V this season. The 2015 bike hasn't been kind to HRC's factory riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, and their diffculties haven’t helped the Briton and his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team.

After the summer break at Indianapolis, Redding and his manager Michael Bartholemy discussed their options with these struggles in mind. They decided to look for something different. Ducati swooped with an offer as soon as they heard of Redding’s interest. The Bologna factory had been keen to sign the former Moto2 runner up in the past.

With an option to remain with Marc VDS also on the table, Redding had a difficult choice to make. He made his decision before Silverstone although later admited his pace across the British Grand Prix weekend left him doubting whether he’d done the right thing.

“I made a decision in Brno,” said Redding speaking at Silverstone. “I didn’t sleep for a few days because I really couldn’t decide and then I came here and the bike was working and I was like ‘f**king hell, it’s too late now!’

Redding will move to Ducati in 2016

 “At the end of the day, that’s what I chose and I think it’s the right way to go. I’m excited, the bike is very different but it looks more normal. With the Honda it’s a bit back to front to ride and I think the Ducati will suit me, at least I hope it will!

“It’s nice to know the deal is done and that there’s no pressure about not saying anything and being careful how you word things with the media. Everyone knows what’s going to happen so it’s a bit more pressure off my back so we just have to do our best and finish this season.” 

While Redding’s pace at Silverstone was good, so was that of the Ducati Desmosedici he’ll step onto next year. In the wet conditions on Sunday, Danilo Petrucci, who will be Redding’s team mate at Pramac in 2016, took his first ever Grand Prix podium ahead of the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso. 

“I know Danilo is fast in the rain, he was mightily fast at the first test of the year, so I knew he was going to be fast once he passed me but I didn’t expect him to be on the podium! It’s good confidence for me knowing that’s the team I’m going to and it’s good for him, he deserves it.” 

Redding says he’s spoken to Ducati about a Grand Prix ride multiple times in the past. He was surprised they were still keen given he’d let them down at the last minute in 2014. 

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“Ducati have always wanted me and I don’t know why,” he explained. “They have wanted me since 2012. I didn’t expect it so much this year as last year I made a decision to go to Honda at the last minute, kind of sh*tting on them a bit, and it made me feel a bit bad so I thought they’d be a bit like ‘last year you did this’ but they were really good. They said they wanted me and I believe they can support me in the best way possible to make a good result. It’s nice to know that I’m going there with them really wanting me and not that I’m asking to be there. 

“They basically said ‘Do you want to ride the bike and do you want to be competitive? Yes – and that was basically the deal.

“It does make a big difference, confidence wise, knowing that they want me as they know I can make the result. It’s like VDS taking me in the past, they believe in me and that’s why they want me as they know I’ve got potential. With the Honda it’s been very difficult. It’s been a difficult season for them with the factory bike and I’m kind of not their priority, whereas with Ducati they only have the four guys and the satellite team is just like the factory team. They don’t care which colour their bike is they just want to see it on the podium.” 

Redding finished sixth in the British Grand Prix, read his exclusive blog here. 

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