"I need to be best of the rest" – Redding reviews Most weekend, critical of "unsettling" Locatelli

Monday, 1 August 2022 05:44 GMT

With five top five finishes from the last six races and two podiums included, Scott Redding is getting back towards the familiarity of front-running fights

The Prosecco DOC Czech Round proved to be another strong round for Scott Reding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and BMW as he claimed two more top-five finishes including a Race 1 podium at the Autodrom Most. After a difficult start to the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Redding has hit a rich vein of form in the last two rounds that has culminated in two podiums and five top-five finishes.

In mixed conditions during Race 1 at the Czech Round, Redding closed in on the top three in the race. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) were hunted down by Redding, who took third place, ahead of Rea after a thrilling four-way battle. Redding, at one point, was in genuine victory contention as he closed down Bautista but was unable to beat the Spaniard before he was passed by Razgatlioglu. In a last lap shootout, he battled side-by-side with Rea from Turn 15 to 17, showing his resilience.

Discussing his Race 1 podium, Redding said: “From Donington Park, we made a step and there were a few question marks on whether or not we’d continue this rhythm. We’ve been strong and we’ve worked in a very good way, so I can be happy with the progress we’ve made and I’ve confirmed here that we can still be fast. It’s important for the project, this is good and in the race, we showed good pace in the middle of the race to catch the front group – with a little bit of rain that was in my favour. I’m very happy and to have another podium already in this weekend is a massive step of achievement, especially as it was a full feature race and this for me is what counts.”

On Sunday, the #45 had a slightly less successful time of things but still had good results. A poor start from seventh on the grid in the Superpole Race left him as low as 13th, before he picked his way back through and claimed eighth. Starting from eighth on the grid for Race 2, Redding was rapidly up into the top six before cracking the top four following a battle with Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) and an early crash on Lap 4 at Turn 1 for Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati). Settling into a rhythm and bringing home valuable data and points, it was fourth at the flag for the 29-year-old.

Speaking on Sunday about his performance on the final race day, he said: “The weekend in general has been very good, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made together with the team and even myself, putting it all together has been great. But today hasn’t been easy. I was talking to the guys in the team last night and said that if I can get a third or a fourth in the Superpole Race, then it’d set me up nicely. Then, I got to the grid and when they took the tyre warmers off, I saw that 80% of the grid had the SCX and I had the SC0; I thought ‘well this isn’t going to be so easy’ but I got a good start, arrived at the first corner and it was just chaos. I came out of Turn 2 in 14th and I saw the leaders already at Turn 4.

“I had to keep getting stuck in and chipping away to the guys in front because I needed to be in the top nine and then I managed to get Garrett on the last lap in the final two corners. I was only one position worse off, so it wasn’t terrible. It meant I didn’t have Locatelli coming across me on the start… it was a bit unsettling because I didn’t know where or how he was going to come. He was always coming across, out-braking himself or running into someone else; he was a bit of a pain in my arse to be honest. Then, when he was in front of me in the last race, he opened doors for me, so it was a little bit better! I felt good, I got through well but the guys just had a little bit more pace than me. There was a moment where Bassani passed Rinaldi and Jonathan went in the same move, and as Rinaldi rolled the throttle to turn, I hit the back of him and the group went; unfortunately, I don’t have the pace to recover that, I’m on the limit to stay there. I’m happy with another fourth and be in a best of the rest situation.

“It was a bit weird passing Toprak and Jonathan yesterday! I don’t really want to get involved with the Championship fight, but I’m not going to do anything desperate; I felt like I could genuinely race for a podium, so then it’s a race for a race. I’m not doing anything desperate… I see sometimes that guys are doing desperate moves and I don’t respect that when guys are fighting for a Championship but if you can fight, you’ve got to fight. It was good to be there as this is what I missed; this is what I come to the race track for. It was carnage with me and Toprak and me and Jonathan and it was one of those fights until the end. I had a lot of battles today and a battle with Bassani because I need to be best of the rest. If I can’t get there, I need to be the next one. It’s nice to be able to feel like I can battle and be at the end of the race which is a step from Donington as we couldn’t battle at the end. It’s a job well done, we have a bit of a break so I can get back to the bicycle and then come back in Magny-Cours!”

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