Scott Redding believes he will be a consistent podium threat for the remainder of this year’s Moto2 world championship after the British rider’s brilliant start to 2012.
A bitterly disappointing 2011 on the Suter chassis saw Redding fail to score a podium for the first time in his Grand Prix career. But he has been galvanised by a switch to the Kalex frame and a new smoother riding style.
The Marc VDS Racing rider has already scored three podium finishes in 2012 and he heads to this weekend’s German Grand Prix brimming with confidence after back-to-back rostrums in Silverstone and Assen.
Redding has already amassed 86-points in the opening seven races, which is 23 more points than he scored in the whole of 2011.
Asked by MCN whether that was a reflection on how good he has been in 2012 or how disappointing ’11 was, the Gloucestershire rider said: “I think it is a combination of both. Last year was a terrible year and I didn’t enjoy one weekend, whereas this year I’ve pretty much enjoyed every race, even when I’ve had a bad result.
"The fun has been coming back into it and when you get the results life starts to become a lot easier. Twenty-three points more than last year is already the showing the difference in me and what the chassis switch has done. We’ve got all the pieces together now to get the results.
"You can’t have an amazing bike but a s**t rider or the other way round, you need the best of both. It’s a personal preference. Last year the Suter didn’t suit me but Marc (Marquez) can make it work for him. The consistency is coming so when you go to the next race you can see things are making it easier.”
Last weekend’s Assen race in Holland was a perfect illustration of how things have changed for Redding this season.
Redding was fighting hard inside the top three for the first half of another gripping Moto2 clash when he started to drop off the front-running pace.
So many times Redding has been unable to maintain his speed with his size, weight and super aggressive riding style abusing the tyre much quicker than his rivals.
Assen looked like being a repeat as he dropped back to fifth, but he then was able to retaliate in the latter stages of the race because a new riding style adopted before the French Grand Prix in testing at Navarro has helped conserve his tyres for longer.
Since he has tamed his aggressive riding style, the 19-year-old has been on the podium in three out of four races.
And he told MCN: “I was struggling all weekend with tyre life in Assen but everybody had the same problem, though I think because of with my weight I’m on the gas a bit harder and there was no rubber left at the end of the race. I could feel it moving around a lot but I managed to smooth my riding out and make it last.
"I’ve been working on throttle control and not being as aggressive like I used to be. I used to be nothing to full gas but now I am working with it more but also having a bike that works with me is easier.
"I can get tucked in and I’m not fighting it all the time and I can be much smoother and being relaxed makes everything much easier. I don’t have to fight with the bike and that means I can focus more on the throttle control and that’s been the biggest advantage I’ve had.”
Redding’s Assen performance was also proof that he can now dig deep and salvage a positive result when he knows he doesn’t have the pace to be fighting at the front.
He bounced back from a horrific practice crash when he ran into the back of a slowing Toni Elias to claim a result which moved him to within 10-points of third in the overall world championship standings.
He added: “In the race I knew I wasn’t going to be there, so to fight hard for it having not had the pace and to get the podium is amazing. I don’t even think the team expected it. They were definitely backing me and pushing me but I don’t think many of us thought I was going to get third.
"Silverstone was just a hard and fast race but in Assen it was a case of making the tyre last while also doing fast lap times and not making mistakes.”
For more Redding and details of a potential MotoGP move in 2013, see the July 4 issue of MCN.