Scott Redding qualified as the leading Production Honda rider for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of the America’s but after the session the Englishman dismissed the significance of out-qualifying Nicky Hayden. Redding, who is stepping up from the Moto2 class, has spent the weekend concentrating on getting the most from his Gresini Honda in race conditions and is confident that this work will pay off tomorrow:
“I was happy because I wanted to work on my one lap times in qualifying because in Qatar it was Nicky’s strong point so I’m happy with that,” said Redding.” I was using the hard tyre more in the practices because I believe that we need to use it to close the gap to the group that was in front of us in Qatar. We did a lot of work with the hard and when I put in the soft tyre it feels a lot better.
“I’m not worried about the one laps because it means nothing; if I push and I’m half a second faster he’s still right beside me on the grid. There’s no real reason to make that [risk] because you might get into Q2 but the Honda’s are all going to be similar and on the same rows so I’ve been working on the race. Sunday is when you get the points and when it really counts so we worked on the hard and scarified some practices to feel good with the hard tyre.”
Redding, like all rookies, is learning every time he gets on the bike and today he started to trust the bike and the tyres more than in the past as he tried to learn the limit of the bike and understand just how hard he can push.
When asked if he now feels comfortable on the bike he said:
“I know the bike and feel comfortable on it so it’s just little things like on the one lap in qualifying it’s braking and that you feel on the limit when there’s that bit more. It’s really strange to learn the tyre because sometimes you don’t feel the confidence and you have to push through that to get to the next level with the tyre. It’s one of those things that takes time and experience to learn.”