Scott Redding is hoping his priceless maiden victory in yesterday’s French Moto2 race in Le Mans will inspire him to more success in the 2013 world championship.
Winless since his historic victory in the British 125GP at Donington Park in 2008, Redding saw a huge weight lifted off his shoulders when he prevailed in an incident-packed Moto2 race at the legendary Le Mans track.
Not only did Redding win his first race in Moto2, but title rivals Esteve Rabat, Pol Espargaro, Nicolas Terol and Takaaki Nakagami all failed to score a single point as they made mistakes in tricky conditions.
Marc VDS Racing rider Redding was in imperious form once he seized the lead on lap nine and he survived a few late scares as rain started to fall to keep himself at the head of the field when the race was red flagged on lap 24 of 26 as conditions were unsafe to continue on slick tyres.
His long overdue first Moto2 win moved him into a healthy 24-point lead in the championship with four of 17 rounds completed and he told MCN: “The first victory is there and I want to get more. I’m just trying my best to go for the championship and I’m using my head in the races but to get a win on a day like this is awesome.
The win is one thing but for me to get 25 points gives me some breathing space in the championship. I’ve got some space to control it and that has really helped me.”
Redding admitted that the maximum points haul was far more important than breaking his victory duck given the calamitous afternoon experienced by his title rivals.
The 20-year-old, who has now finished on the podium in three of the opening four races, said: “The points are much more important to me than the victory because we are fighting for the championship and to get 25 points when my main rivals took zero has given me a nice breathing space. Also I am happy to take the victory because now I know I can win races and this is also very important.”
Redding was certainly relieved to see the red flags finally thrown three laps from the end of the race.
Leading the race always means you will be the first to encounter changing conditions and as the spots of rain got heavier on his visor, Redding did signal at one stage for the race to be stopped as he felt riding on slick tyres was become unmanageable on a greasy surface.
He said: “It was interesting to say the least, especially when you are leading the way. This track doesn’t have so much grip in the rain, so with the slick tyres it was unbelievable. I put my hand up because it was starting to rain quite hard on the back of the track but nothing was happening for two laps and the guys were catching me. Two laps later I couldn’t do anything. I was completely sliding into Turn 4 but then I saw the red flag and I’d got my first victory and it was an amazing feeling.”
For more exclusive reaction from Redding and an update on a potential switch to MotoGP in 2014, see the May 22 issue of MCN.