The 2019 Bennetts British Superbike showdown is fast approaching. And in recent races former MotoGP rider, Scott Redding, has made his championship intentions clear. In this article, I will be looking into whether it was the right move for the Gloucestershire rider.
Going back to twelve months ago, it was announced that charismatic Italian, Andrea Iannone would replace Scott Redding at the Gresini Aprilia team for 2019. At that moment in time, the future wasn’t very clear for Redding. He initially had an offer from Paul Bird Motorsports Be Wiser Ducati squad for the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike campaign.
The only questions raised by Scott himself was the safety of some of the circuits, as some of the older tracks do not have a big amount of runoff areas.
Redding was then rumored to have been talking to some Moto2 teams – a perfect opportunity with the new Triumph 765cc triple’s that have proven to be more powerful and produce more torque. When questioned, Redding was always clear and would say “At the moment I’m leaving my options open”.
Fast forward to November 2018 and Scott Redding had long been confirmed for British Superbikes 2019, with PBM Be Wiser Ducati. Scott got his first try on the brand new Ducati V4R superbike at a media day in Jerez, where his smile could not be hidden.
The smile continued into winter testing, with Redding regularly near the top of timing sheets. Coming into the season opener at Silverstone, his championship intent was made clear by qualifying on the front row. He managed his debut podium in race one. Unfortunately, race two did not go to plan as he was clipped by Andrew Irwin’s and his race came to an end early.
Donington Park is where we really saw authority stamped on the 2019 British championship. Redding showed three outstanding and fairly different race victories in the triple-header.
Brands Hatch and Knockhill are where, I believe, we really saw what Redding is made of, with pole position at Brands Hatch. On Sunday Race One, he gambled with intermediates on a drying track and unfortunately, this didn’t pay off. However, he secured pole for race two thanks to his fastest lap, a race in which he would claim his fifth podium of the year.
The last round at Knockhill saw Redding pick up another two podiums. Incredibly, Race One’s podium was from sixteenth on the grid. Even more impressively it was on track with no margin for error, as the racing line was the only real dry line.
In short, I feel like the move to British Superbikes has rejuvenated Scott Redding. We have seen the confident swagger return, which we became so used to seeing in his Moto2 days. I think it’s also vitally important to remember that Redding, himself, is a class rookie. Although he was a MotoGP rider last year, the British Superbike machines are so different and the tracks are completely different to the international circuits visited by MotoGP. To learn a new bike and new locations in such a short space of time is truly impressive.
The thing that’s impressed me most during Redding’s rookie BSB season, is just how humble and relaxed he appears to be. He genuinely looks like he is having the time of his life. Alongside this, he has almost bought a “Rossi fever” to the paddock but has done so in his own right.
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw Scott Redding signing for a few more seasons in the Bennetts British Superbike paddock. And let’s be honest, it would only be welcomed with open arms from fans around the UK.