Scott Redding aims high in Qatar

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British teenager Scott Redding believes a top five finish in the historic first Moto2 clash in Qatar on Sunday night is not an unrealistic target.

The Gloucestershire rider will make his debut for the Marc VDS Racing squad this weekend buoyed by a confidence inspiring fourth place in the final test of the winter in Jerez last month.

Redding had initially struggled to make an impact on the new Suter MMX machine, but he is now bidding for a strong start to the season when the action gets underway at the Losail International Circuit this weekend.

The 17-year-old, who remains the youngest rider in history to win a Grand Prix, said: “The final test in Jerez was a big boost in confidence for us, as I was able to run top five on the timesheet on all three days.

"The team has to take a lot of the credit for this; the way of working is ultra-professional and it's a real pleasure to be a part of.

"All this means we head for Qatar knowing we are capable of securing a good result for the team and repaying the faith that Marc van der Straten has shown in us.

"The team have given me a target of top ten this weekend and I'd be relatively happy with that, but I really do believe that a top five finish is on the cards if everything goes as smoothly as it did in Jerez.”

Redding is also excited at the prospect of working with new team-mate Hector Faubel.

The Spaniard is a last minute replacement for Belgian rider Vincet Lonbois, who was axed after a series of disappointing winter testing performances.

Redding added: “It will be interesting to see how Hector adapts to the bike, but I'm sure it won't be long before he's pushing me hard on the track.

"To say I've been looking forward to this weekend would be something of an understatement; I can't wait, so bring it on!"

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt