Scott Redding ready for MotoGP switch
Scott Redding is moving to MotoGP at the right time in his career, according to former Moto2 crew chief Pete Benson.
The Gloucestershire rider will compete in the premier class next season on a production Honda RCV100R machine for the Italian-based Gresini squad.
The 20-year-old came close to becoming Britain’s first GP world champion since late legend Barry Sheene when he led the Moto2 world championship until three rounds from the end of a riveting scrap with Spaniard Pol Espargaro.
But late season crashes in Australia and Japan cruelly ended his hopes of graduating to MotoGP as the reigning Moto2 champion.
This year was Redding’s fourth in Moto2 with the Belgian-based Marc VDS Racing squad and long-serving crew chief Benson doesn’t believe it was worth him remaining on a Kalex machine to try and win the title in 2014.
Benson, who guided Nicky Hayden to the 2006 MotoGP crown, told MCN: “There is not much point in him staying in Moto2 any longer. This was his fourth year and after a while you do tend to start flogging a dead horse.
"He is a big lad and he is a very good rider. Even though there is a weight limit now in Moto2 and it has closed the gap, because of his size it is never going to be an even playing field and it was still a small issue at some places. He has got the ability to ride a MotoGP bike very well.
"I saw him on the Ducati last year and that is the hardest thing on the planet to ride and he acquitted himself very well. I was thoroughly impressed and I came away from that thinking this guy has definitely got something on a bigger bike and he can do really well.”
Redding will ride a new production Honda RCV1000R next season before moving to the prototype RC213V in 2015.
The fact that Redding isn’t being thrown into MotoGP immediately on a factory prototype machine will lessen the pressure and expectation on him in his rookie season but Benson added: “He will duck under the radar a little bit but it is still going to be a competitive class and I am sure Honda will have done their homework.
"And while they won’t build a bike that can beat the factory bikes it will be right behind it and as long as every week you are right there you will be OK. It will take a little while to learn how to ride it but he will get in there and do a good job.”