On Saturday afternoon, 24 hours before he claimed his first Moto2 victory, I had the chance to chat with Scott Redding and get his thoughts on his chances at Le Mans, championship amibitions and how he rates against the current MotoGP crop of rookies.
Stephen English: Over the last year you’ve made a big step up in terms of consistency. What’s changed?
Scott Redding: You’re always learning and a lot of it was preparation through the winter. Feeling more relaxed and ready for the season. you can see now that every time I go out I’m more consistent. It’s one of the things that I’ve been working at.
SE: Has fitness played a part in this preparation?
SR: My fitness has always been good but I’ve struggled with the heat at times but it’s a variety of things. It’s not my fitness; I’ve always been fit and I’ve always done my best to be ready to go to a race weekend. Fitness isn’t a problem.
SE: One of the big stories over the winter was the introduction of a minimum weight. How big a difference has it made for you? At Qatar you were still being overtaken on the long straight.
SR: To be honest it’s not a big difference because people like Espargaro and Luthi don’t have to carry weight because they’re on the limit.
SR: I think it’s 12kgs so it’s still quite a lot but compared to Mika [Kallio] and [Esteve] Rabat it definitely makes it more fair.
SE: So far this year you’ve had two second place finishes and a pole. Is the championship now the target?
SR: Yeah, the championship was my target from before the season started. We know that we have to fight for championship until we get a ride in MotoGP next year and that is the aim. I want to get there and be competitive. It’s one of the things that you have to keep working for.
SE: After the Ducati test at Mugello did you think that it was lining up for you to move into MotoGP this year?
SR: Not really, it was kind of there but the terms and conditions meant that it wasn’t even worth doing. I’d rather stay for another year in Moto2, be competitive and fight for the championship and then maybe get a factory ride or at least a really good ride for the following year.
SE: All the factory seats and satellite MotoGP seats already look to be taken for next year…
SR: There’s a few options but we’ll have to see how it pans out. Anything can happen.
SE: How do you think you compare to Bradl, Marquez, Smith and Pol given the speculation linking him to Yamaha next season?
SR: The thing is I’ve beaten all these guys at one point in my career. I beat Bradl in the Spanish championship. When I’ve had good machinery I’ve been fast. A lot of the time I’ve had a good bike one year and then a shit bike and then a good bike.
It was only the fact that this year I’ve had two consecutive season with the same bike which is really good. Coming off last year and coming fast [in the second half of the year] I knew I’d be fast this year.
It’s the same with Bradley. I’ve beaten him numerous times and I’ve also beaten Marquez a lot. I put myself up there with those guys. At the moment Bradley isn’t doing a very good job on the Monster Tech 3 bike but Marquez is doing the sort of job that he should be doing as a world champion.