How Scott Redding reset his career as he aims for MotoGP return
Scott Redding is in fine form at the moment, winning the British Superbike Championship in his first attempt and currently leads the World Superbike Championship after two rounds, but does the British rider realistically have a chance at returning to MotoGP and replacing Andrea Dovizioso?
As it stands, there is one available seat at the factory Ducati team, but there are a lot of names in the hat, all hunting for Danilo Petrucci’s vacant factory Ducati seat. One of those riders is 2019 BSB Champion and current World Superbike series leader, Scott Redding, who is eyeing up a return to the MotoGP grid.
Redding was last in the premier class back in 2018 riding for the Aprilia team. As we know, the Aprilia is not the most compliant bike if you want to be fighting for regular top five’s and podium finishes, something Redding has wanted since leaving Pramac Ducati at the end of the 2017 season.
The rider from Gloucestershire finished second to Pol Espargaro in the 2013 Moto2 World Championship and hit the premier class in 2014, starting his MotoGP career aboard the Go&Fun Honda Gresini bike. The Open Class Honda wasn’t exactly the greatest bike on the grid and gave Redding his best result of seventh in Qatar and Australia.
Redding is a proven race winner and podium sitter at Grand Prix level, the 27-year-old won his first 125c Grand Prix aged just 15 years and 170 days. This, at the time, was the youngest Grand Prix winner in MotoGP history, it was later beaten by Can Oncü in 2018.
In 2015 Scott Redding remained with Honda but returned to the team he took the runner-up spot a few years before in Moto2. The EG 0,0 Marc VDS team were new on the MotoGP grid.
Redding’s 2015 season saw him finish 13th in the overall standings and made the switch to the Ducati from 2016, joining Danilo Petrucci at the satellite Ducati squad. Redding spent two seasons with the Pramac Racing team and finished on the podium at the Dutch round of the 2016 season.
After finishing in 15th and 14th places, Redding quickly found himself out of a ride, with the only option being Aprilia. Fellow Brit Sam Lowes’ vacant seat was snapped up by the Gloucestershire rider, but it didn’t go according to plan.
Aprilia’s poor motorcycle didn’t give Scott Redding any confidence needed to fight for points, Redding finished inside points scoring positions on seven occasions in what was an eighteen round championship that year after Silverstone was rained off.
Redding was at rock bottom, the end of the miserable 2018 season left him contemplating retirement at just 25-years-old, that was until Paul Bird approached Redding for a ‘factory’ ride in the Bennetts British Superbike paddock.
Before you knew it, Redding was announced as Josh Brookes’ team-mate in the ultra-competitive BSB class, a class which Redding took by storm.
Eleven victories and a further nine podiums gave Scott Redding his first championship, something that Redding needed in order to give him the confidence boost he lacked towards the end of his MotoGP era.
Redding said that BSB was like a ‘reset’, a golden opportunity to return to the lowest class of competitive racing and prove to himself, teams and fans that he is still a World Championship contender and in 2020, he got that opportunity.
Redding joined the World Superbike paddock, replacing the outgoing Alvaro Bautista for 2020. After two rounds at Philip Island and Jerez, Redding is championship leader by 24 points over Jonathan Rea, with two victories to his name aboard the Aruba.it Ducati. But, should Redding win the WSBK championship, does he deserve the MotoGP seat?
It would be an incredible achievement for Redding should he join the factory Ducati team. BSB champion, World Superbikes championship contender and a factory MotoGP ride in the space of three years would be nothing short of incredible for the British rider, but why should Ducati risk signing Redding when they have an upcoming star like Francesco Bagnaia?
Redding is a reignited man, coming from BSB, a championship with bike, circuits and riders he’d never come up against but Redding took the challenge by the scruff of the neck and proved why he could be a MotoGP contender. Since his BSB championship, Redding has made the switch to the WSBK paddock, staying with the same bike and crew chief, who joins the Aruba.it team from the PBM BSB team.
Redding’s WorldSBK season started with a bang, featuring at the front of all 6 races so far. In Phillip Island, Redding made his WorldSBK debut, finishing third in all three races before picking up two wins and a second at a very hot Jerez race.
We will see Redding’s raw speed clearly next weekend when WorldSBK goes to Portimao, a circuit Redding is largely unfamiliar with. If Scott Redding can run at the front of the grid then you’d have to say Claudio Domenicali, Davide Tardozzi and Luigi Dall’igna should be looking at Scott Redding to replace Andrea Dovizioso, or perhaps Francesco Bagnaia and return to Pramac Ducati on the latest machine.
Redding has openly admitted that he isn’t interested in a satellite MotoGP team, but should Redding really ignore the Pramac seat? We’ve seen in recent years, even when Redding was aboard the Ducati, that Pramac have the capability to run at the front of the MotoGP grid. Jack Miller is a proven podium finisher while Francesco Bagnaia has also found serious form on his Desmosedici GP20.
However, Ducati could find themselves pressured into making a decision; riders are being signed thick and fast. Do they sign Francesco Bagnaia and assess Redding’s performances even further before committing with a contract for a return to Pramac Ducati? Or should the Italian manufacturer take a chance with the 27-year-old and promote him directly into the factory Ducati squad?
Ducati has MotoGP, WorldSBK and BSB to keep an eye on this weekend, and no doubt once again, Andrea Dovizioso, Francesco Bagnaia and Scott Redding will be watched like a hawk.
Featured images: Ducati Media