Scott Redding’s impressive early season Moto2 title challenge continued in Jerez yesterday when the British rider rode to a measured second place finish.
The Marc VDS Racing rider quickly realised he was unable to match the pace of Spaniard Esteve (Tito) Rabat, but with Pol Espargaro and Takaaki Nakagami not capable of running his speed, Redding was able to settle for a relatively comfortable second place.
It was his second podium in the opening three races and he was delighted to be back inside the top three, despite losing the world championship lead to Rabat, who rode a flawless 26-lap race.
Redding heads to the next race in Le Mans trailing Rabat by just a single point and he admitted that the Spaniard’s blistering pace in the opening phase of the race had been a surprise.
Redding, who raced with a bad head cold, said: “When I was checking through the times from the weekend Tito wasn’t that fast in the first five laps and I’d been very strong in the beginning. I thought if I could follow him we could breakaway and battle for the win. I had a feeling he could go away but I felt if I could go with him I’d be fine. But he pulled the pin immediately and caught me off guard a little bit. I was taking it easy with a full tank of fuel so I wasn’t going to do a stupid small crash and in the end he rode good and his pace didn’t drop down but I am happy to be on the podium. I thought it would take him a bit longer to do the lap time but straight out of the box he was flying. I’m not disappointed at all because this is by far not my favourite circuit. We do so many laps here in testing it is boring. I’m really happy to finish on the podium and I battled for the pole too. I didn’t battle for the win but you have to get the points to get the prizes. “
Redding said his main weakness compared to Rabat was in the second timed sector and he added: “I was losing in that part all weekend. Everywhere else I was fast but in the race I could see that was the only place race he could pull on me. I wasn’t willing to take any big risks. He wasn’t taking big chunks out of me but it was like 0.1 and 0.2 and I just couldn’t do anything about it. There was a lot of riders crashing and that was the last thing I want to do and it was always going to be hard to pull three seconds back.”
For more on Redding’s second rostrum of 2013, see the May 8 issue of MCN.